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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Four to five parties interested in acquiring entire Saab

According to TT, four to five parties are interested in buying Saab in its entirety. TT cites Hans Bergqvist, who is one of the bankruptcy administrators.

"I can not comment on who we are negotiating with. But we are in a dialogue with four, five interested parties who we believe have a serious interest," Bergqvist told TT.

We known from earlier that Chinese vehicle manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile is one of these parties. As reported on Friday, the management of Youngman is expected to Sweden tomorrow to present their bid to the administrators.

Turkish private-equity firm Brightwell Holdings has also made it clear that they will place a bid on Saab, probably next week also. But Brightwell has expressed concern about the Saab engineers finding new jobs. Yesterday Zamier Ahmed of Brightwell told just-auto that they will make a statement concerning the engineers of Saab shortly.

"At the end of the day, Saab will not be the entity we want it to be if we don't have skilled engineers for local production. We will make a statement with regards to that in the very near future [when] we have a better picture of the positioning for our proposal," Ahmed said and continued "The core of Saab is the people - without these core people we don't have a product. We will do everything we can to make sure we provide an intelligent and sustainable platform for former workers of Saab to work with us."

Also the administrators feel that time is of essence, but maybe for a slightly different reason:

"We have to hurry due to the economic situation we are in. To make it possible for someone to restart the activity again, we have to keep the factory in good shape, and that costs an incredible amount of money," administrator Hans Bergqvist told TT.

I addition to the aforementioned interested parties, vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra of India has also been said to be interested. In fact so interested that representatives from the company have been in Sweden and Trollhättan for several days now doing a due diligence on Saab. So M&M is also probably one of the four to five parties mentioned by Bergqvist.

The last one or two parties are anyone's guess. The administrators have said that they have also been in contact with Swedish parties and parties mixed of Swedish and foreign stakeholders. Early in the process Canadian Magna International, which is the world's third biggest automotive supplier, was also mentioned. My take on it is that Magna is unlikely since they said that they are happy to remain a supplier to the automotive industry.