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BAIC closer to Saab deal with loan approval

Prospective Saab buyer BAIC has received approval for a loan of 20 billion Yuan, approximately 20 billion Swedish kronor ($2.9 billion), from the Bank of China.

BAIC closer to Saab deal with loan approval

BAIC has expressed its interest in purchasing the ailing car maker Saab from General Motors, but has declined to comment in more detail.

“20 billion Yuan is more than enough to build up the production,” Li Chunbo, analyst at Citic Securities, told Reuters news agency.

The newspaper Ny Teknik has revealed that BAIC has already made a deal to buy the production facility of the old Saab 9-5 model. Saab has refused to comment on those reports.

Enterprise Minister, Maud Olofsson, and State Secretary at the ministry, Jöran Hägglund, have met with the EU’s Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes. They emphasised how important it is that the EU Commission’s current review of Saab is carried out quickly. “She said that she understood very well that it is important to get a quick decision,” Olofsson told news agency TT.

The review is being undertaken to establish that Saab was not in financial difficulty as at 1 July 2008, before the financial crisis. This is required for Saab to be entitled to state support.

The government’s main task now is to meet with various interested parties and the government will try to sell the company to Swedish interests, according to Olofsson.

On Friday all EU Enterprise Ministers met in Brussels, where they hosted various GM representatives who were to discuss GM’s plans for their European enterprise. This mostly concerns Opel and Vauvhall, which is where the biggest reductions are to be expected in most EU countries.

At the same time the chairpersons of the Metal Unions Association, Stefan Löfven and Cecilia Fahlberg, are demanding that the respective EU governments take immediate and active measures in relation to the Saab situation. They are particularly demanding a central coordinator. “The Swedish government must immediately set aside human resources which are entirely focused on supporting Saab in finding a new buyer,” they said.

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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.