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 17, 2012

Youngman push to buy entire Saab as administrators stall

According to Swedish Dagens Industri, Chinese Youngman is pushing to speed up the negotiations to buy Saab in its entirety. But the bankruptcy administrators are reported to stall.

Chinese Youngman was the first party to announce its interest to buy Saab after the bankruptcy December 19th. And the company has said that it wants all of Saab, including the employees. In the beginning of January the employees received a letter with a notice of termination of employment at Saab and local newspaper TTELA reports that on Thursday this week will be the last day at Saab for most of the employees. Their notice period will however last a few months, but they are of course free to take new employment in the mean time. For any bidder which also wants the employees, time is starting to run out.

It is unknown why the administrators are stalling the negotiations with Youngman, but the news upset both the CEO of the Swedish association of automotive suppliers, FKG, as well as CEO of CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers.

"If there is an interested party which wants to act now and make an offer for the entire Saab business including the factory, then surely the administrators must sit down and discuss with them", said Fredrik Sidahl, CEO of FKG to DI.

Sidahl also expressed criticism of the administrators' choice to turn down an invitation to travel to China and discuss an offer from Youngman and hear the plans.

CEO of CLEPA, Lars Holmqvist, is upset that the administrators ignore the suppliers.

"The bankruptcy estate is as a matter of fact SEK 1.4 billion in debt to the suppliers," Holmqvist said to DI.

Holmqvist stressed that it is only Youngman which can make an offer within the next few weeks. All others will need months. At the same time the Saab bankruptcy estate needs cash to operate.

Dagens Industri also reports that consultancy firm Semcon has expressed interest in buying the assets Saab used in its technology develoment. But this has so far been stopped by Hemfosa which owns the buildings where this equipment is located. Buildings Semcon would require. In other words, it looks that Hemfosa is looking for another solution for its building, possibly continued activity for Saab under a new owner?