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, March 6, 2012

Deal should be reached by April 30th

Earlier today the Saab bankruptcy administrators held their weekly press briefing. To the media the administrators would not reveal their time table, and said only that a sale should be done before the summer. But Svenska Dagebladet's sources now say that the administrators want a done deal by April 30th.

So far only Chinese Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile has confirmed placing a bid on Saab. But Indian Mahindra & Mahindra has allegedly also placed a bid and possibly both even additional Swedish and foreign parties could have made bids.

A delegation from Youngman arrived to Sweden last week and met with the administrators in Gothenburg on Friday before continuing to Stockholm on Saturday. In Stockholm the Chinese yesterday met the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokraterna) Stefan Löfven, and today they were in a meeting with the Swedish Ministry of Finance. Present at the meeting was also representatives from Bank of China and China's Embassy in Sweden.

It is unknown what the purpose of the two meetings were, but according to Svenska Dagbladet the matter discussed was probably issues concerning the company which sells Saab genuine spare parts, Saab Automobile Parts AB. This company was pledged as collateral to Sweden (through the National Debt Office which is placed under the Minstry of Finance) when Sweden in 2010 guaranteed a loan of SEK 2.2 billion which Saab took in the European Investment Bank.

Reports from last week suggested that Youngman's SEK 2 billion bid on Saab does not include Saab Automobile Parts, but it is believed that the Chinese would also want the parts company and thus the meeting with the Ministry of Finance.

It is unknown if the spare parts company will be part of the bankruptcy estate sale or will be sold separately by the National Debt Office (NDO). The latter is however the most likely scenario since the NDO now more or less owns Saab Parts after it in January paid off Saab's loan in the EIB. Meetings between the parties interested in acquiring Saab and the Ministry of Finance will therefore be of great importance to ensure a solution where Saab can continue as an entire entity developing, producing and selling cars and parts.