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GENERAL MOTORS

GM to fill Saab funding hole: report

The prospective purchaser of the ailing Saab Automobile company – the Koenigsegg Group – has found new investors to enable it to complete the deal, according to reports in the Dagens Industri business daily.

GM to fill Saab funding hole: report

Saab’s current owner, General Motors, will also stump up three billion kronor ($412 million) to fill the funding hole.

The paper’s information reportedly came from a source close to the deal. Koenigsegg Group, which has been pressing the Swedish Government over the last two weeks for top-up funding in order to save the company, has stated that it can now complete the deal without government assistance.

“Koenigsegg Group no longer needs additional financing from the Swedish state due to securing financing with the help of GM and new investors,” said the source.

The new settlement may be presented as soon as next week. Saab requires approximately 11 billion kronor ($1.5 billion) before the company can begin to operate profitably, according to the Koenigsegg Group. Current owner GM has already contributed 2.8 billion kronor ($385 million) in the form of a loan and through paying for production equipment for the new Saab 9-5. The Koenigsegg Group has contributed 720 million kronor.

The company also hopes to secure a loan from the European Investment Bank of around 5 billion kronor. In order to secure that loan the company will require a guarantee from the Swedish Government.

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CARS

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
 
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
 
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
 
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
 
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.
 

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
 
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
 
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
  
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
 
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
 
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
 
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.