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, December 29, 2011

Sweden hopes for buyer of all of Saab

Updated with info from Swedish radio regarding Indian interest

The new year and normal working hours are approaching fast. Just before Christmas Saab filed for bankruptcy and during the last week before Christmas and the past week, we have read some reports about different companies being interested in the assets in the Saab bankruptcy estate. So far the details about these companies and their approach have been sparse. But we can expect the news reporting from Sweden to pick up speed on Monday next week.

 The first interested party we heard about was Chinese Youngman, which has shown interest in the Saab technology and maybe even restarting limited production at Saab in Trollhättan. Next was the word that Turkeys companies were interested in the Saab assets. We also got a short report that Canadian auto supply giant Magna International was interested. During the Christmas Chinese Dongfeng joined the party. Today local Trollhättan newspaper TTELA reports that a large vehicle group has shown interest. At the moment no name has been confirmed.

This evening Swedish Radio P4 reveals that also one of the biggest vehicle manufacturers in India has contacted the bankruptcy administrators to make an appointment for a meeting with the administrators on Thursday January 5th. The Indian company is interested in the Saab technology and might also be interested in continued production in Trollhättan. But now the meeting has been canceled by the administrators, reason being that the Indian company is represented by Lars Carlström in Sweden. Lars Carlström was earlier known as the Russian banker Vladimir Antonov's man in Sweden. Antonov and his bank empire in Lithuania has this autumn been under the suspicions of fraud. I would say that the behavior of the administrators is fairly odd given the circumstances. But I guess if the Indian company is seriously interested in acquiring Saab, then the Indian company and the administrators will find a way of communicating without the help of Carlström?

So we have a lot of interested parties. Some are probably just curious, others are just interested in getting high end technology cheap and other may be interested in taking over the whole group of Saab companies. Sweden's National Debt Office (NDO), which has guaranteed Saab's loan in the European Investment Bank on behalf of Sweden, hopes for the latter. According to TTELA, the NDO has told the bankruptcy administrators that the NDO will at the time being not claim the collateral it has in Saab's part company, Saab Automobile Parts AB, or the other Saab companies. Reason being that the NDO is willing to give the administrators the chance to sell the whole group of Saab companies should a willing buyer emerge.

So that's the status at the moment. Lot's of interested parties, and Sweden hoping to see Saab sold as a whole to one buyer.