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GENERAL MOTORS

Saab dealers: we’ll help pay for Spyker deal

Swedish Saab dealers have said they are willing to stump up millions of kronor to help Dutch sportscar maker Spyker secure its purchase of Saab Automobile.

Saab dealers: we'll help pay for Spyker deal

The dealers say they can provide up to 180 million kronor to save the carmaker, according to business daily Dagens Industri.

The offer was formally approved by a meeting of the board of the Swedish association of GM dealers, and is intended to help strengthen Spyker’s hand in the ongoing talks over Saab.

“We have no doubt that Spyker can manage the financing on its own. But if we can help out if we are asked,” said Lars Åke Sundén, CEO of the Biva dealership in Linköping.

Peter Hallberg, CEO of the Swedish GM Dealers’ Association said that Saab dealers believe that there was “strong substance” in Spyker’s business plan. They did not feel that they were taking an “imminently significant” risk by making the offer, he added.

Spyker has to raise 180 million kronor by the summer. Victor Muller, the company’s CEO, has said he doesn’t expect to have any problems finding the cash.

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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.