Saab debts mount as cash search continues

Saab debts mount as cash search continues
The problems continue to mount at Swedish carmaker Saab with mounting debts, falling sales and an ongoing search for finance still without result.

“Victor Muller is still in China and conducting discussions together with several others from Saab,” said Gunilla Gustavs at Saab’s information office.

The firm was unwilling on Monday to confirm who the discussions were with.

According to a source quoted by broadcaster TV4, Saab is close to securing an agreement with a Chinese firm with a further two other Chinese companies said to be interested.

“As soon as we have something to announce we’ll do so,” Gustavs said.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has confirmed that it will not make a decision or add any further information regarding its loan conditions and negotiations on Monday.

“There is nothing to add today,” Pär Isaksson, spokesman for EIB in the Nordic countries said.

The EIB is due to decide on where it stands on the issue of the ownership of Saab and in particular on whether Russian financier Vladimir Antonov can be allowed to take a stake.

Meanwhile, figures from automotive trade association Bil Sweden indicate that sales of Saab cars have fallen sharply over the past month.

A mere 560 cars were registered during the month of April. While this is 6 percent more than the lows of last April, it was down from 888 cars in March.

The Swedish Enforcement Administration (Kronofogden) has over the past three weeks received default reports from seven companies regarding unpaid bills at Saab, according to a Sveriges Radio report.

The bills in question total some 2.5 million kronor ($415,240), but total debts are much larger and continue to grow as interest payments continue to accumulate.

Several of the companies who reported the firm to the Administration continue to conduct business with Saab, but it is unclear for how much longer.

Furthermore Saab has a standing debt with the Enforcement Administration in respect of state wage guarantees hanging over from its 2009 reorganisation. Saab and the Swedish state remain in dispute over the debt, which amounts to 120 million kronor.

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