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, February 7, 2012

Mahindra placed bid yesterday, Swedish-Japanese bid shortly?

Swedish business news Dagens Industri reports that Indian Mahindra & Mahindra finally placed a bid on the Saab bankruptcy estate Monday. But they are not the only one with a keen interest on the Saab leftovers. Now even a Swedish and Japanese co-operation wants the bankruptcy estate.

According to The Times Of India Mahindra had signed a confidentiality agreement prior to Monday and was believed to be in the process of finalizing its bid. But as mentioned, now Dagens Industri says that the company placed a bid on large parts of the bankruptcy estate yesterday.

Competitor for acquiring Saab, Chinese Youngman, is reported to still be present in Sweden with its top management. Youngman supposedly already placed its bid on January 27th. But it seems clear that this bid now needs to be revised should Youngman have any hope of acquiring Saab.

The Swedish-Japanese co-operation stems from the electric car group which includes local Trollhättan development foundation Innovatum, state owned Fouriertransform, consultancy company Semcon and Volvo Cars. In addition there are one or more investors. This group now wants to cooperate with Japanese battery manufacturer Panasonic to develop and manufacture electric cars. It is believed that this group only wants parts of the bankruptcy estate.

The initiative is said to have the support of the Swedish government and the Ministry of Enterprises. Large government grants could be available.

"The support can be through direct contributions to the development work, but also through substantial investments from the state-owned venture capital company, Fouriertransform," a source said to Dagens Industri.

According to Swedish Radio P4 Väst, the bid from the Swedish-Japanese group has already been made. P4 Väst have now been in contact with Tore Helmersson, who is CEO of Innovatum, and he denies that a bid has been made. But he did confirm that there are discussions being held concerning manufacturing of electric cars in Trollhättan.

Head of communications at Volvo Cars, Per-Åke Fröberg, denies to Svenska Dagbladet that Volvo is part of a electric car group interested in parts of Saab.

"No, that is incorrect information. We're not involved in something like that. We are however interested in some of the test equipment and a few other things if the administrators decides to sell the estate in parts," Per-Åke Fröberg told SvD.