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Saab deal not yet done: General Motors

TT/The Local · 25 Jan 2010, 17:02

Published: 25 Jan 2010 13:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Jan 2010 17:02 GMT+01:00

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Stefan Weinmann, spokesman for GM Europe said the company was aware of speculation surrounding the sale but stressed that a deal had not yet been agreed.

"We're still talking to each other. Negotiations are ongoing and we have nothing new to present," he told news agency TT.

Sweden's enterprise minister Maud Olofsson said no decision had been reached regarding Saab at an extraordinary cabinet meeting held on Monday afternoon.

"We've made decisions but not about Saab," she told newspaper Expressen.

Swedish media reports earlier on Monday suggested a deal for the purchase of Saab Automobile by Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker Cars was complete.

Sveriges Television (SVT) reported early Monday afternoon that the deal was finally done following approval of a key €400 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

According to SVT, the Swedish government has scheduled an extra cabinet meeting for 2.30pm to decide on whether or not to provide a state guarantee for the loan.

“Yes, the government will hold an extra meeting this afternoon about a number of issues, but the question of loan guarantees will also probably come up,” enterprise ministry deputy director Hans G. Pettersson told the TT news agency.

Sweden’s National Debt Office (Riksgälden) recently finished a report which will serve as the basis for the government’s position on whether or not to provide state guarantees for the EIB loan.

Pettersson added that he can’t confirm that the deal between GM and Spyker is finished.

“Even if things look good now, it has happened before that someone falls at the goal line. It’s not finished until both parties go out with it,” he said.

Story continues below…

Throughout the Saab sale process, the Swedish government has had constant contact with the European Commission, which must approve any state loan guarantees.

“We still haven’t receive a definite answer from the Commission,” said Pettersson.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:42 January 25, 2010 by michalino
Yeees. Good news. It should be confirmed by the government.

Go Sweden, don't give up. SAVE SAAB. Last step to do.
13:44 January 25, 2010 by Nemesis
This is good news.

I hope most of the jobs in Trollhättan can be secured with this deal.
14:06 January 25, 2010 by Tomitomi
is it me. or does this article start with "deal is complete" and end with "deal is actually not complete"

14:24 January 25, 2010 by harrylatour
Good news though this is the new company Saab MUST embrace the latest EV and 'in wheel' hybrid technology to be viable in the long term,as I once said in these pages,,,if anyone thinks we are all going to get on a buss to save the planet,,,it aint happening! I know that the easy way is to just keep on putting gasoline/diesel engines in their motors,,,but the company will die again in another few years.The next big bucks in the car industry will be earned by manufacturers of cutting edge EV hybrids,,,,,it's a case of get in there or die (again!!) Harry Latour
14:25 January 25, 2010 by falcon

After the beauty contest, now the real work begins. Given the weakened condition of Saab, I hope Spyker is up to it. It will take real expertise.

Good Luck!
14:38 January 25, 2010 by Luckystrike
I hate to be the negative one, but the Government has declined to provide a state loan garentee before, and nothing has changed since. There is a good chance they will decline it again, but for all you SAAB lovers and the employee's at Trollhättan, i really hope everything works out as hoped!!
15:02 January 25, 2010 by Twiceshy
In this world economy propped up by everything except a real recovery in consumer/corporate spending (i.e. propped up by gov spending), I expect Saab and other car companies to be a disaster in the following years.

If guaranteeing this loan means Swedish taxpayers like me will pay for failure if Saab goes down, with Spyker to profit in case Saab does well... I have to say I hope Sweden does not guarantee the loan.
15:30 January 25, 2010 by jack sprat
Nothing much has changed until the Swedish govt. i.e.the taxpayers agree to guarantee the loan.

Hope everyone is happy about that, and all goes well,...but have my doubts.
15:35 January 25, 2010 by Mzungu
Anyone buy Spyker shares?

*bit late now, if you didn't* :happy chappy:
15:36 January 25, 2010 by StockholmSam
I agree with Twiceshy. If Swedish taxpayers are willing to take the risk of guaranteeing this loan, then they should benefit from the profits. There must be a function in place to make sure Spyker's success reaches the taxpayers. Otherwise, no deal.
15:52 January 25, 2010 by misssh
deal on....deal off ....deal on....deal off

will believe it when the ink in on the contract

good for the employees in Sweden, not that it will ever make me want to buy the buckets of shite
15:59 January 25, 2010 by zircon
Comment: a government loan guarantee, to save Saab, and is Swedish & located in Sweden... Who is doing the adding up here? Plus, Sweden's Saab belongs to the EU. Who is doing the math here? And why did Koenigsegg gave up on one of Sweden's national brands? It just doesn't make any sense, the loan for Swedish car maker Saab, to be the big question. Buying it's own car factory, but from a middle position is also quite strange.
16:01 January 25, 2010 by Scotsaab
Good news - but there's some distance to go before the party can start. I'm sure this could be the begining of a positive new chapter for Saab and signal the saving of a great marque. Let's keep our finger's crossed.
16:04 January 25, 2010 by Twiceshy
zircon read the wikipedia article on loan guarantees. Basically it's a mechanism for governments to take on financial responsibilities in case a private company fails.

In other words Spyker and GM want Sweden to shoulder a potential failure of Saab...
16:21 January 25, 2010 by zircon
True: but I was talking a different level. Not in terms of meaning, but in terms of higher logic. Check out the middle position. Thanks anyway for the information.
16:23 January 25, 2010 by Twiceshy
What do you mean with middle position?
16:46 January 25, 2010 by millionmileman
Great news, I was at the rally in Chicago yesterday and these SAVE SAAB demonstrations of solidarity hopefully have paid off. I was especially appreciative of IKEA for allowing us to use their parking lot. Then warming-up after wards in the store while shopping for bargain stuff.
16:53 January 25, 2010 by Newyork-Växjö
This is positive news. I am happy to see this. Even th I am in love with VOLVO but still i like all Swedish cars :) Sweden has two famous things "one is car another is blond. " Safe both!
17:26 January 25, 2010 by zircon
The middle position specifically for Saab is not something one can write down in text. It's basics are of a different result. First you study the situation, and relate this back in terms of period or terms, and ofcourse finance, vertical and horizontal. It's quite fun to do, but it has to be your work. And get payed for it. Why don't you tell me about the middle position. I'm keen to hear what you have to say. But do that right now, since I have a course this evening to attend.
18:38 January 25, 2010 by Scotsaab
Still not out of the woods yet. The sale or otherwise of Saab will be complex and lengthy. There's clearly hope out there - but as someone has already said "Let's wait until the ink is dry on the final document".

The sale of Land-Rover and Jaguar to TATA was not completed overnight and Geely's purchase of Volvo is still in progress. These things take time and Saab's future is still very much in the balance.

We can only hope there is not going to be too much backroom wheeling and dealing or smokescreening to confuse the issue further.

This must be an agonising time for Saab staff and their familes.

Support is worldwide, but we need to keep on campaigning and hopeing for the best.
18:43 January 25, 2010 by jack sprat
@Mz.,..Seem to recall your last one falling at the first fence.

This one has about as much chance as a three legged donkey in the Derby.

@Newyork-vaxjo,...Unfortunately the reputation of both of these commodities has gone downhill recently ,at an ever increasing rate.

Just hope they've got good brakes.
19:08 January 25, 2010 by Mzungu
Ha-ha sprat,Spyker closed over 70% up,sell at first opening tomorrow. Looks like an extension of sojourn....free at that!

*dream on,you have memory loss*
19:44 January 25, 2010 by jack sprat
Reckon whoever is behind these constantly changing ON,OFF,ON,OFF rumours could be making a killing.

Better be up early MZ looking at the latest....lol.
20:17 January 25, 2010 by franny66
LOL good old GM are giving the swedes a taste of their medicine
20:35 January 25, 2010 by falcon
Per Reuters - "I don't really know what Spyker brings to Saab in terms of expertise, in terms of ability to turn the business around. Equally, on the Saab front, I don't really know how a business that's selling as few units as it sells can ultimately be profitable," said Nomura analyst Michael Tyndall."

Great news about the sale/bad news about the buyer.
23:03 January 25, 2010 by jack sprat
Spyker sold 43 cars in 2008 and posted a loss of 35million dollars.

Much the same in the first half of 2009.

In the 6 years its been operating, it has yet to make its first profit!

Looks like Swedish taxpayers will be covering Spykers debts as well as Saabs!
00:26 January 26, 2010 by repat_xpat
jack sprat:

Looks like Spyker has found a way to increase it's financed. Its stock is up 80% (from what I read). Its interesting that only Spyker is making such claims about the sale. GM and the Swedish government are not providing the same information. I hope I am wrong, but Spyker seems like a sleaze ball playing with the lives of the good people in Trollhattan for the benefit of their own stock and global recognition. I do hope the jobs can be saved, but I am skeptical.
02:09 January 29, 2010 by Lon Ernwall
The hell with the hollanders sell Saab to Koenigsegg keep it Swedish and keeep the cash in Sweden!!
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