IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Discussions with suppliers ongoing

Yesterday it was reported that Saab was asking its suppliers to agree on a payment term for Saab's debt where the suppliers would get 10 per cent shortly and the remaining with 6 percent interest in September. The suppliers were to respond to the offer yesterday. Today Dagens Industri reports that not all suppliers have approved the payment plan, but some are still discussing the terms with Saab.

 "We are in the midst of negotiations and are working hard on reaching a solution," CEO of Kongsberg Automotive in Mullsjö, Joachim Magnusson, told Dagens Industri.

"My hope is that it is finalized today," he continued.

The Wall Street Journal thinks that the suppliers will agree on the plan. And the reason is simply because it's better to receive 10 percent and maybe the remaining 90 percent in September, than fighting with all other creditors, including the Swedish government who has tied up all of Saab's collateral, and not receiving a single öre.

If Saab can overcome this last challenge, CEO of the association of Swedish Saab dealers, Peter Hallberg, thinks that the long-term outlook is good for Saab. It is the short-term that needs remedy.

"It is the property deal that will determine the outcome," Hallberg said to Dagens Industri.

Gunilla Gustavs from Saab told TTELA that the final piece of the puzzle in the property deal was not in place yet, but she believed that a decision should come soon. 

The money from a property sale in addition to the money received from the Chinese deals so far and the overdue quarterly payment from the European Investment Bank should according to Hallberg be enough to bridge Saab over to October when the investments from Chinese Pang Da and Youngman should be finalized.

"I think the long-term funding looks good," Hallberg said.

And Hallberg is not the only one believing in Saab. Just-auto can report that the big majority of the workforce at Saab have elected to stay despite the uncertainty that surround Saab.

Russian banker Vladimir Antonov does not seem to have lost interest or belief in Saab's future. Today he affirmed once more that he still wants to own up to 30 percent of the company, and that the deal to bring in Chinese companies Pang Da and Youngman as part owners has not changed his mind.

"There are various options to become a shareholder," he told Reuters, "You can buy new shares or old ones. It depends how you invest into the company -- as equity or debt."