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 29, 2011

GM accepts Antonov

Dagens Industri online edition reports that GM and Vladimir Antonov has reached an agreement to allow Antonov to become part owner of Saab. To be approved by GM, Antonov needs to buy from GM a convertible bond (linked to GM's preference shares in Saab) of SEK 2.3 billion which GM has on Saab. But Antonov will get it at a large discount. DI writes that he will only have to pay around SEK 800 to 900 million.

Regular readers and keen Saab observers will remember that already in April it was reported that GM and Saab had reached a tentative agreement to allow Antonov to become part owner of Saab. If I may be as bold to suggest that this agreement also included a condition that Antonov had to buy the convertible bond, but at a price much higher than SEK 800 to 900 million. In the mean time Saab has gone from bad to worse balancing on the edge of bankruptcy. And Victor Muller's visit to GM last weekend was probably to negotiate the price for the convertible bond down. GM figured it's better to receive something than nothing at all, and lower the price. And when I'm at it, I would also like to suggest that the undisclosed Chinese company that bought 582 Saab cars on Monday can in fact be owned by Antonov and this company might have no intentions to actually receive and sell any cars.

SEK 120 million in "car purchase" and SEK 800 - 900 million to buy out GM would amount to around SEK 1 billion. The amount Antonov has said that he is ready to invest in Saab.

If the deal with GM is carried through, it would mean that GM is out of Saab, and the only obstacle that remains will be the European Investment Bank and the Swedish Government. The Swedish Government has been sitting idly by waiting for the decision of the the players. It is expected that the Swedish Government will approve Antonov if the other players have done so first.

Swedish writes that one source says that GM will announce this deal together with the Swedish Government. I guess the Government wants some praise for all the hard work it has done...