Saab Automobile has signed confidentiality agreements with as many as 27 potential buyers, a spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday.

The General Motors unit's court appointed administrator had said earlier this month about 20 potential buyers were looking at the company and that a deal was expected to be completed in June.

Saab spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs told just auto today there were now "25 to 27" interested groups at the moment, including private equity investors and firms in and outside the auto industry worldwide.

She confirmed the automaker had held meetings with representatives of potential buyers this week, adding that it was working "at high intensity" and hoped to reach an agreement with a buyer in the next few weeks.

A Swedish court on 6 April extended the period Saab was protected from creditors, giving it more time to restructure.

The carmaker, which sought protection from creditors in February, had outlined plans for its continued reorganisation, including a reduction of non-prioritised debt by 75%, at its first formal meeting with creditors earlier the same day.

A reorganisation plan, submitted to the court, called for US$1bn of financing to help it overhaul production and launch new models.

"The court has decided that the reconstruction can continue until 20 May at the latest, if no other decision is taken before then," the court ruled.

Saab has to seek another extension of the reconstruction period by 19 May, according to documents presented to the court by the company's administrator.

GM has said it plans to cut ties to Saab by 1 January, 2010.