GM bankruptcy has ‘no impact’ on Saab: CEO

GM bankruptcy has 'no impact' on Saab: CEO
Sweden's Saab Automobile will be unaffected by its parent company General Motors filing for bankruptcy in the United States, Saab chief executive Jan-Åke Jonsson told AFP on Monday.

Saab’s American owner filed for protection from its creditors in a New York court on Monday in a bid to re-emerge as a new, leaner company.

But Jonsson stressed this would have “no impact whatsoever” on Saab’s own reorganization process that began in Swedish courts in February.

“It does not affect the process of carving out the Saab organization from GM, ensuring future financing and finding a new owner… no impact whatsoever,” he said in an interview at Saab’s Trollhättan headquarters in southwest Sweden.

When asked about the identity of a potential new owner, Jonsson said: “We have two that we are having serious discussions with and one that is interested in coming back into the process.”

The Saab chief declined to name any of the parties involved, but told AFP that he hoped a memorandum of understanding would be signed with a preferred buyer “within a week or two.”

Media reports say that Sweden’s niche sportscar maker Koenigsegg, US investment company Renco Group and Italy’s Fiat are all keen on buying Saab.

“We will take June to complete the negotiations and hope a contract will be ready by the end of the month,” Jonsson said.

Last week, Swedish judges gave Saab until August 20 to prepare itself for new ownership, granting an additional three months of protection from its creditors.

Saab owes 9.7 billion kronor ($1.3 billion) to GM — its largest individual creditor — as well as 347 million kronor to the Swedish government.

Other creditors are owed 647 million kronor.

GM wants to sell loss-making Saab in a bid to shore up its own finances and has appointed Germany’s Deutsche Bank to advise them on the sale.

Saab employs about 3,400 people in Sweden. Including suppliers, some 15,000 jobs in the country are believed to be at risk if the company were to disappear.

The Swedish automaker sold 93,000 cars worldwide in 2008, its website said.

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