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.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chinese companies to guarantee Saab loan as decision from China approaches

Updated with info on union not filing for bankruptcy tomorrow

According to Reuters, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter's sources have revealed that the bridge loan Saab is negotiating with a major European bank will be guaranteed by Chinese partners Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. and Pangda Automobile Trade Co Ltd.

The two Chinese companies are planning to take a 29.9 and 24 percent stake respectively in Saab's parent company Swedish Automobile. And both companies have already put several millions at stake by buying cars from Saab and paying in advance. Now it looks like the Chinese companies want to protect their investments by guaranteeing a loan to Saab from a European bank. A loan that is assumed to be around SEK 1 billion and is expected to be used to pay off suppliers, pay delayed salaries and restart production.

The reason the Chinese companies now come to the rescue is also good news for Saab. They have learned that the chance for a quick decision from Chinese authorities on Youngman and Pangda's planned investments in Saab has risen.

Today also Saab got some additional time to raise funds. The blue collar union IF Metall has said that it will not file for a bankruptcy in Saab on Friday. When the members' wages was not paid last Thursday the union last Friday requested that Saab pay the wages with a seven days deadline. And the deadline for Saab to pay the wages is tomorrow Friday afternoon. If the wages have not been paid by then, the union will according to the law have three weeks to file for bankruptcy in order for the state to guarantee the wages. Now the union has decided that it will not file for bankruptcy at first chance tomorrow. The union will meet on Monday to reconsider, though.