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Sweden agrees to guarantee Saab loan

TT/The Local · 6 Oct 2009, 07:05

Published: 06 Oct 2009 07:05 GMT+02:00

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The move helps keep the planned sale of the General Motors (GM) unit on track, although a government official cautioned Sweden’s readiness to provide state guarantees doesn’t mean the EIB loan is assured.

“It’s now up to the Commission to assess Saab’s prospects for borrowing money. Just because we notified them doesn’t mean the deal is done,” said Jöran Hägglund, state secretary with the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications (Näringsdepartementet), to the TT news agency.

But Hägglund added that the notification means that the government hopes the deal will go through.

“The deal is still alive for us. If we hadn’t believed in it, we wouldn’t have chosen to notify the Commission,” he said.

Saab wants to borrow 4 billion kronor from the EIB, but before it can, the European Commission must make sure the government’s guarantees don’t run afoul of EU rules on state supports for industry, and that the carmaker’s business isn’t at risk for insolvency, the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper reports.

If all is in order, the Commission will then signal its approval for the loan through a statement of “no objection”.

Saab is now awaiting the Commission’s decision.

Story continues below…

“This is an important step along the way,” Saab’s state agency liaison Anne Petre told the newspaper.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:26 October 6, 2009 by hjoian
from what i have read,saab has been losing money for years,so i dont see,if this is a fact,that the EIIB will loan any money to a failing buisness,and maybe why the goverment has supported it,knowing it wont have to guarentee a 4 billion kroner loan. Its a pity i loved my old saab,but once you sold out to a forighn company....it was on the cards. I pity the workers and their families,and really hope saab can be turned around.
09:00 October 6, 2009 by jackylee
It is still very curious how Swedish government gets involved in this deal. If the EU bank approves the loan, and fewer believe SAAB will turn around and make money, it will be the Swedeish government/tax payers paying the bill in the end. I hope I am wrong.

On the other hand, the government has the responsibility to secure the jobs, no problem with that. However, knowing that there will be more than 80-90% of chance to loose money, why not the government spends this lost sum to creat new jobs.
09:33 October 6, 2009 by just a question
Is this the immigrant's fault as usual?
09:52 October 6, 2009 by Tobugrynbak
Finally the Swedish government is showing some balls and being brave for a change.

SAAB's biggest problem was being shackled to GM where cars are designed by accountants not engineers. Unfortunately GM's accountants only know the cost of things but not their worth.

With an intrinsically independant SAAB being able to refocus on their real products, there is a good chance they can regain their status as a premium car maker.

This is good news for SAAB, Sweden (Scandinavia) and the enthusiast car owner. Like me.
11:10 October 6, 2009 by Rick Methven
SAAB stopped making a profit after GM got 100% in 2000. Since then there has been little of the innovation that SAAB was famous for.

Every new SAAB I bought from 1976 to 1994 was better than the last. Since then every one has become more of an Opel than the last. SAAB's are not a mass market car. they have a niche market that GM could never understand. Now there is some hope that my next SAAB will be better than my current 9-5 Aero.
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