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DATE News (chronologically)
04/15/09
automotive
Oklahoma investor group makes offer for Saturn  A group of investors today says it has offered to acquire General Motors Corp.'s struggling Saturn brand, which is slated to be eliminated as part of the automaker's restructuring plan unless a suitor is found.

The group, which includes private equity firm Black Oak Partners LLC, based in Oklahoma City, and several Saturn dealers, have approached GM to acquire the assets of Saturn Distribution Corp. Terms of the offer, which was submitted last week, were not released today. The group would initially provide vehicles from GM and eventually offer small, fuel-efficient vehicles from several manufacturers -- most of which would be sold under the Saturn brand.

Black Oak Partners is located in an office building in Oklahoma City that shares an address listed on state business records for Saturn of Oklahoma City. The dealership is headed by Mark Moore, who could not be reached for comment.

"Our goal is to build upon an iconic brand supported by a strong national network of retailers that fundamentally share a vision for delivering a best-in-class customer experience," said John S. Pappanastos, a spokesman for the investor group.

A GM spokesman confirmed the offer.

"Black Oak Partners is one of the parties we've had discussions with regarding the purchase of Saturn," GM spokesman Mike Morrissey said. "They are just one of several. Discussions are ongoing, and it would be premature to speculate on any possible outcome."

The move would preserve jobs and businesses in a down economy and free GM from having to potentially spend money closing Saturn dealers or shedding franchise agreements in bankruptcy court.

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