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, October 20, 2011

Reconstruction administrator Guy Lofalk going behind Saab's back once again?

Today has been a dramatic day. First Saab announced that it had secured funding from the American private-equity firm North Street Capital. Then it was announced that the reconstruction administrator Guy Lofalk had applied to the court to terminate the reconstruction. According to Lofalk, the money secured through the deal with North Street Capital was "not enough to continue the reorganization."

Now the newspaper Göteborgs-Posten has reached Anne Petre, who is responsible for public affairs at Saab, and she had the following comment about the latest development:

"This is much bigger than you can imagine. But I can not and are not allowed to say anything."

Does that sound dramatic or what?

According to the Swedish news agency TT and Trollhättan newspaper TTELA, several sources say that the relationship between Victor Muller and the administrator Guy Lofalk went sour when Lofalk on Monday this week was in China and met the National Development and Reform Commission and Youngman and Pang Da without Saab's knowledge. At this meeting Lofalk discussed the possibility of the two Chinese companies becoming sole owners of Saab and this should happen behind Victor Muller's back. Something that of course upset Victor Muller who is Chairman and CEO of Saab's current parent company Swedish Automobile.

To TTELA Guy Lofalk said the following about the Chinese companies plans to become owners of Saab:

"The Chinese companies have expressed a wish to do a direct investment in Saab, but they were not able to reach an agreement with the current owner Swedish Automobile." 

A direct investment would of course mean that the Chinese would become owners of Saab directly and not indirectly through Swedish Automobile like the initial plan intended.

To New York Times Victor Muller says that the Chinese now seem to be less interested than before:

"The situation is rather complicated. We've seen the Chinese investors making U-turns in the last few days. That is very concerning because just last week they had confirmed their interest."

Muller continued saying that Lofalk "is completely focused on an ownership change. He wants to force Swedish Automobile to sell Saab."

But Victor Muller has not given up: "No way it's over. It's a process that we'll fight in court." 

The question now is what will happen next? Who will win this ongoing power struggle between Swedish Automobile with Victor Muller in the forefront and Guy Lofalk and the Swedish Government on the other side? And as a Saab enthusiast, who do I cheer for? Who has the best odds to secure Saab's future?