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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Deal said to be ready, Debt office holding brake

Svenska Dagbladet last night reported that the deal to sell Saab is more or less ready and could have been signed already on Sunday. But the National Debt Office is for some reason slowing down and delaying the sale.

The company in front to acquire the Saab bankruptcy estate is according to SvD's sources a Japanese-Chinese electric car consortium with ties to Sweden. The consortium has already registered a Swedish company named National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, and it is believed that this company will take ownership of Saab.

Representatives from the stakeholders in the consortium visited Saab in Trollhättan on Sunday, where they among others met with a group of automotive suppliers. The weekend's meeting with the bankruptcy administrators did however not bear fruit as the deal was not ready to be signed. Something that supposedly annoyed the Japanese and Chinese stakeholders.

"I can confirm that we were in Trollhättan on Sunday. We gave a tour of the factory to the stakeholders in the consortium, but I can not comment on the dialog we have with the administrators or the Debt Office," said Mattias Bergman, spokesman of National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

It is uncertain why the National Debt Office is slowing down the process, but it could be that the NDO is not satisfied with the information it has received concerning how the sale of the Saab bankruptcy estate will be carried out.

The NDO still hold the shares in both Saab Autmobile Tools AB and Saab Automobile Parts AB as collateral for a SEK 2.2 billion loan Saab took in the European Investment Bank in 2010. When Saab filed for bankruptcy in December of last year, the NDO paid back the loans and in principle took control over the aforementioned Saab companies.

It has earlier been reported that the Japanese-Chinese consortium is not interested in taking ownership over Saab Parts. But the consortium is unquestionably in need of Saab Tools to restart car production in Trollhättan.

The consortium is said to be oriented towards electric car and possibly hybrid cars, which could mean that the consortium has little interest in the current Saab cars fueled by fossil fuel, and so the parts company could be of no interest.

According to SvD, the business plan of the consortium is based on an electric version of the current Saab 9-3, license production of a japanese electric car and eventually a new generation electric Saab based on Saab's newly developed Phoenix platform.