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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saab sells 50.1 percent of its property company

Saab has just issued a press release stating that 50.1 percent of the shares in the company Saab Automobile Property AB has been sold to a consortium of Swedish real estate investors, led by Hemfosa Fastigheter AB. This will bring a much needed SEK 255 million or EUR 28 million into Saab. The sale also includes a one year lease free period, and a 15 year leaseback deal.

This means that Saab has raised EUR 41 million the last two days. But if we are to believe Sven-Åke Berglie, who is the CEO of the suppliers association, Saab needs more than EUR 77 million to restart production.

In what is believed to be Saab's short-term funding plan, the European Investment Bank is supposed to lend another SEK 260 million, or EUR 28 million to Saab. But as reported last night, Svenska Dagbladet's sources say that the European Investment Bank is unwilling to lend Saab more money as long as the company is in an "unhealthy" state. The question is if the money raised from the sale of the property can change the EIB's mind.

To TTELA, Eric Geers who is Executive Director of Communication at Saab, said that "there are more things under way, which I can not comment on at this time", when he commented on the short-term funding of Saab.

Click below to read Saab's press release on the sale of the property.

Trollhättan, Sweden: Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swedish Automobile) announces that Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) have reached a conditional agreement with respect to a sale of 50.1% of the shares in Saab Automobile Property AB (Saab Property) with a transaction value of SEK 255 million (EUR 28 million).

A consortium of Swedish real estate investors, led by Hemfosa Fastigheter AB (the Consortium), will purchase 50.1% of the shares in Saab Property for a total consideration of SEK 255 million, reflecting an adjustment to the transaction price for a one year lease free period. The property consists of 483,000 m2 building space. The investors have the right to purchase additional shares to increase the amount to SEK 300 million (EUR 33 million) on the same terms within 30 days after closing.

Saab Automobile will enter into a lease agreement with Saab Property for a duration of 15 years.
As joint owners, the Consortium and Saab Automobile seek to further develop the property, including a refinancing of the property at a later date when commercially feasible. Saab Automobile is being advised by Catella Corporate Finance.

In order to enable Saab Automobile to sell the property, the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO), being the guarantor of the EUR 400 million loan of the European Investment Bank (EIB), is requested to release its pledge in the shares of Saab Property. If the NDO releases its pledge in the shares of Saab Property, the guarantee of the NDO in favour of the EIB will be reduced by EUR 120 million. As a result, Saab Automobile will draw up to a maximum of EUR 280 million under the existing EIB loan (of which EUR 216.9 million have currently been drawn). A further EUR 63.1 million will remain available to Saab Automobile under the EIB loan. Saab Automobile seeks final approval from the EIB, the NDO and the Swedish government to complete the transaction which it expects shortly.

Swedish Automobile and Saab Automobile continue their discussions with several parties to secure additional short-term funding to restart production. There can, however, be no assurance that these discussions will be successful or that additional short-term funding will be obtained.

Jens Engwall, CEO Hemfosa Fastigheter AB, said: "We are very pleased with the agreement with Saab Automobile. We will continue to add value for Saab Automobile in developing the property."