General Motors and the Koenigsegg Group, Sweden's supercar producer, have  signed a binding agreement over the sale of Saab Automobile.

The deal is expected to be announced today (Tues) subject to approval of EUR425m (US$610m) in loans from the Swedish government, underwritten by the European Investment Bank, and other financing arrangements.

Saab, which has been under court protection since February, has seen its global sales slump to fewer than 98,000 in 2008 from a high of 133,000 in 2006.

GM has owned Saab for 19 years and has never made a profit from its Swedish unit.
Koenigsegg was founded in 1994 by entrepreneur and car enthusiast Christian von Koenigsegg. Its cars sell for about EUR1m each.

In a memorandum of understanding signed in June, GM agreed to invest more into Saab after its spin-off than it would receive from the buyers. The Koenigsegg consortium pledged a relatively small sum up front backed by contingent financing, to be repaid to GM if they were to succeed in making Saab viable.