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SAAB

Spyker boss to Sweden over Saab future

Negotiations between General Motors and Dutch luxury car maker Spyker over the future of Saab were believed to have moved to Stockholm on Friday, with media reports stating Spyker CEO Victor Muller paid a visit to the capital.

According to US news agency Bloomberg, Spyker has submitted a bid of around 3.6 billion kronor ($500 million) for Saab and adds that GM are, in principle, satisfied with the offer.

The bid has been divided so that GM would receive around 541 million kronor ($75 million) in cash and 2.3 billion kronor ($325 million) worth of shares in the future company.

In addition, GM would receive 721 million kronor ($100 million) directly from Saab funds, money to be profited from the sale of equipment to Chinese company BAIC.

An important question hanging in the balance for Spyker is the promise of a loan guarantee from the Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden) in accordance with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Reports from the US suggested that Spyker chief executive Victor Muller was in Stockholm to meet with representatives from GM to continue negotiations.

While sources from both Bloomberg and DI state the Spyker-Saab deal can still collapse, it has also been reported that the process may soon be finalised and an announcement could be on the cards next week.

Meanwhile, the two liquidation companies appointed to oversee the wind down of the company are awaiting developments before making changes or issuing final notices for Saab employees, reports TV4 West.

“It’s clear they are waiting and I can confirm they have not been in touch with us,” said Paul Åkerlund, chairman of the IF Metall union branch in Trollhättan, to news agency TT.

Åkerlund added that no union representatives at the Saab factory have as yet been called to a meeting with the liquidators.

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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.