Mahindra nears deal to buy Saab maker, report says

India’s Mahindra & Mahindra is close to sealing a deal to buy National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), the investment group that bought the assets of Saab Automobile two years ago, the Financial Times reported.

Mahindra plans to buy a majority stake in NEVS, the newspaper said Wednesday, citing documents filed in a court in Sweden.

Mahindra wants to acquire the remnants of Saab to accelerate its expansion into Western markets and into premium and electric cars, the paper reported.

Earlier this month, NEVS’ administrator, Lars Eric Gustafsson, said an Asian carmaker has agreed to purchase a majority stake in the company. Neither Gustafsson nor NEVS has identified the company. The website SaabsUnited said NEVS and Mahindra have signed an agreement for Mahindra to step in as majority owner of NEVS.

NEVS said today that a Swedish court had agreed to extend the company’s reorganization for a further three months until March 2, 2015 to finalize the negotiations with potential investors.

NEVS is in talks with another Asian manufacturer on a joint venture to develop new vehicles. NEVS has not named the company but Swedish media reports suggest the manufacturer is Dongfeng Motor.

NEVS, a Chinese-Japanese investment group led by renewable energy power-plant builder National Modern Energy Holdings, sought protection from its creditors in August after struggling to deliver on a target to produce 120,000 cars a year by 2016.