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Swedish officials in last ditch Saab rescue plea

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08:09 CET+01:00
A Swedish government representative is due to land shortly in Detroit to provide input to the General Motors (GM) board ahead of a Tuesday meeting where it is expected to decide the fate of Saab Automobile.

State secretary Jöran Hägglund of the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications (Näringsdepartamentet) is set to meet the GM top brass on Monday in what is viewed as a last ditch effort to convince the US automaker to pick a solution other than shuttering Saab for good.

Hägglund traveled to Detroit on short notice as part of a delegation from both his ministry and the Swedish Ministry of Finance.

When the GM board meets on Tuesday to formulate its decision, it will hold the future of roughly 4,000 residents of Trollhättan in western Sweden in its hands, as well as the fates of an additional 4,000 workers throughout Västra Götaland.

Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson criticized the government last week for not doing enough to save Saab, which unions also charged in even more pointed language.

Hägglund's meeting with the GM leadership is an effort to sort out any remaining questions and give the Detroit bosses insights into the facts following the drawn out and now collapsed process with Koeningsegg.

“Another important mission to also to try to determine what sort of financial muscle the prospective buyers have,” Hägglund told Svergies Televsion (SVT) in a pre-taped segment which broadcast on Sunday night.

Hägglund has previously confirmed that there is interest in taking over Saab from several potential suitors, but he refused to divulge any names.

In the meantime, one name has emerged – that of the American investment group Merbanco.

But the interest remains only if it's possible to avoid a new, six-month long process, Merbanco CEO Christopher Johnston told the Reuters news agency.

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