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.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Endeavor Advisory Group working to raise Saab $350 million in debt financing

Over the night there has been some news that Saab/Swedish Automobile has hired Endeavor Advisory Group as investment banker to raise Saab $350 million in debt financing, this according to a blog entry by a reporter at Pacific Business News.

According to this blog Chairman and CEO of Endeavor, David Khalilzad said “We are very pleased that Saab Automobile AB has chosen Endeavor and Saab CEO Victor Muller said it is great to work with Endeavor Advisory Group."

To Gunilla Gustavs from Saab's information department said: "Their task is simply to help us raise money".

To Swedish Radio Gustavs said: "They are experts and this will help us find funding. We have said earlier that we are looking for other ways of funding to strengthen our finances short term.[...] I can say that we are working extremely hard. And now we have some great experts to help us. So we are moving forwarda, but we will only comment when we have something definite to communicate."

My immediate thought was that this debt financing had to be connected to the work to get rid of the loans from the European Investment Bank that is hampering Saab possibilities to conduct the business the way Saab see fit. But now the comments from Gustavs can also imply that this financing could be for the short term liquidity squeeze.

The question is of course how far Endeavor and Saab's hunt for money has come. Swedish Aftonbladet writes that analysts they have been in contact with says that it is unlikely that Endeavor's CEO David Khalilzad would make such a comment unless the money was already secured.

 There is also some news from the Swedish debt enforcement agency, Kronofogden. TTELA writes that the debt reported to the enforcement agency has reached more than 90 cases involving a debt of more than SEK 163 million. So far only a small fraction (around SEK 5 million?) of this debt has made it to the process where the enforcement agency freezes Saab's assets.

The question the employees at Saab ask themselves now is if the actions taken by the enforcement agency will jeopardize their August wages, due to be paid the coming week.