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SAAB BANKRUPTCY BATTLE
Saab Automobile deal 'complete': report

Saab Automobile deal 'complete': report

Published: 07 Jun 2012 10:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jun 2012 10:00 GMT+02:00

The sale of assets of bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab is complete, according to Swedish media reports, with a Swedish electric car consortium rumoured to be the main buyer.

"We submitted a definitive offer on April 7 before the deadline for bids expired," said Mikaael Östlund of the National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS).

NEVS, a Swedish-registered company founded by a Hong Kong-based firm specialised in alternative energy and a Japanese investment fund, declined to disclose the amount of the offer.

The court-appointed administrators for Saab, which filed for bankruptcy in December, refused to confirm an offer had been made or when they might announce a possible candidate to rescue the iconic Swedish brand.

According to Swedish media they could make an announcement as soon as the

end of the month.

It has previously been revealed that the consortium was prepared to pay 1.5 to 1.8 billion kronor ($208 - 250 million) for Saab, not including the spare parts company Saab Parts.

Annika Wennerblom, city manager for Trollhättan which is home of Saab's production plant, said early on Thursday she had been informed that a deal has been struck.

“That’s all we know at the moment,” Wennerblom told ttela.se.

“We haven’t been told when they will let us know who the buyer is. They have told us the deal will be signed this week but it is always hard to give exact moments in this kind of business.”

However, later on Thursday the head of information at the Trollhättan municiplaity, Peter Asp, denied that the municiplaity had any knowledge that a deal had been brokered.

"Annika Wennerblom had interpreted it as if it was a done deal, but that is not the case. It is unfortunate that there was a misinterpretation," he said to Aftonbladet.

Saab Automobile, including subsidiaries Saab Tools and Saab Powertrain, was declared bankrupt in December last year, with debts amounting to some 13 billion kronor.

After assets had been estimated, the debts stood at 9 billion.

Over the course of the spring, the administrators have been in negotiations with a number of potential buyers who had shown an interest in purchasing the company as a whole.

Chinese carmaker Youngman is one of the firms named to to be interested in buying Saab. Swedish media have reported that Youngman placed a preliminary bid in late January or early February of about two billion kronor (220 million euros, $280

million).

Youngman has long been interested in Saab and tried to snap it up before it declared bankruptcy but those efforts were thwarted by the Saab's former owner, General Motors, which balked at transferring the necessary technology licences.

Reports have also surfaced that Indian commercial utility vehicles manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra has placed a bid as well.

Saab was already on the brink of bankruptcy when GM sold it in early 2010to Dutch company Swedish Automobile (SWAN) - at the time called Spyker - for $400 million.

The aim of the administrators has always been to broker a deal before the start of summer, according to news agency TT.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:18 June 7, 2012 by spy
Annika Wennerblom is not 'city manager for Trollhattan' she is the Mayor (and a rather naive one by the looks of it).
09:14 June 8, 2012 by rise
#1

A "city manager" (stadsdirektör) isn't a "mayor" (borgmästare). And she definitely isn't a "borgmästare" since cities in Sweden do not have one. A Swedish city has a "kommunalråd". But still Annika Wennerblom is not the "kommunalråd" (which in Trollhättan is Monica Hanson) but in fact a "stadsdirektör". With other words the article is right in naming her "city manager".
09:54 June 8, 2012 by ClassicBob
Swedish liquidators should know that start-up electric car company can never truly revive SAAB! Suppliers will loose big time with this deal. They would be better off giving the company away to a mainstream automaker who could commit to reviving the brand and restore some of the lost jobs in Trollhättan.

BMW, VW, TATA, FIAT... where have you been???
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