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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's bankruptcy bits and pieces

Here's a summary of the news so far today concerning the Saab bankruptcy and the development in selling Saab as an entirety or in parts.

TTELA reports that the future for the Saab car museum is uncertain. The municipality of Trollhättan did place a bid for the museum, but according to information TTELA has gotten, the municipality's bid is not the highest one. And since the bankruptcy administrators' task is to get as much money as possible, the car collection might be sold to others.

"Yes, I have understood that it is so," said Gert-Inge Andersson to TTELA when commenting on Trollhättan's bid being to low.

The National Museum would like to see the collection being kept in Trollhättan and Sweden, but does unfortunately not have the funds to buy it.

"What the National Museum wants is to keep the collection intact, anything else would be deeply unfortunate. We do however not have the money to bid on the whole collection," said Lena Munther who is head of communication at the National Museum.

Over to some good news. As reported yesterday, the bankruptcy co-administrator, Kent Hägglund, who is responsible for legal issues concerning the Saab brandname and the Gripen logo, says to TTELA that he will work for a solution where Saab is sold in its entirety, including the brand name.

"We are in a dialogue with Saab AB and Scania," Hägglund told TTELA, which is good to hear since the reports from Swedish Radio P4 yesterday indicated that he had not been in contact with the two other companies which have right to use the Saab brand name and/or the Gripen logo.

"One would not like to see the nice logo in the wrong hands," Hans-Åke Danielsson, head of information at Scanias said. Which would

Danielsson confirmed to TTELA that they will not make any decision until a buyer of Saab Automobile has emerged. And neither Scania nor Saab is reluctant to discuss a solution where a buyer acquire Saab in its entirety.

One interested party we have heard little from lately is Mahindra & Mahindra of India. But they are still interested in Saab. The last couple of weeks everything have been about Chinese Youngman and Turkish Brightwell Holdings, but now Swedish Radio P4 Väst reports that M&M was in Trollhättan at the end of last week to visit the Saab factory and meet the bankruptcy administrators.

P4 Väst writes that M&M is interested in buying all of Saab and continue production in Trollhättan. But time is of course and issue, and escpecially since both Youngman and Brightwell seem to have come farther in the process.

"They have to work quickly in order to buy the complete bankruptcy estate," a source said to P4 Väst.

Finally, Beijing Auto (BAIC) of China wants to buy the technology behind the Saab ePower electric vehicle. BAIC is best know to Saab fans for in 2010 buying the rights to the previous generation Saab 9-5 and the pre-2006 Saab 9-3. Now they even want the electric car technology. TTELA reports that BAIC is backed by Swedish interests as well as a possible cooperation with Panasonic. But the electric car project is not just owned by Saab but also by Innovatum, a company established to develop the business in the Trollhättan area. CEO of Innovatum, Tore Helmersson, says to DI that they do not want to sell to any company which plans to move everything abroad.