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Saab secures short term funding, pays wages

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Saab secures short term funding, pays wages
17:17 CEST+02:00
Saab's owner Swedish Automobile announced Wednesday it had secured more short-term funding with a 25-million-euro ($36-million) loan and that it has started paying out staff's salaries for June.

"Swedish Automobile announces that it entered into a 25 million euro convertible bridge loan agreement with Gemini Investment Fund Limited, thereby securing additional short-term funding," the company said in a statement.

The announcement is the third cash injection to Saab this week, for a total of 66 million euros, following a Chinese order on Monday and a deal reached Tuesday to sell and lease back its real estate.

If the funds are paid out as scheduled, "Saab Automobile expects to have secured the liquidity required to restart production hopefully within 2 weeks, subject to reaching agreement with its suppliers which includes feasible delivery schedules," said the brand's Dutch owner, formerly known as Spyker.

The announcement sent Swedish Automobile's shares soaring 44 percent to €1.76 on the Amsterdam stock exchange at 1430 GMT.

Saab has been faced with a mounting liquidity crisis, with the production line stopped as suppliers halted deliveries over unpaid bills.

Last week, it announced it had run out of cash to pay its staff's salary

for the month of June.

"But salaries are now on the way out to all personnel accounts," confirmed Eric Geers, head of information at Saab, to news agency TT on Wednesday afternoon.

"I am relieved to report that we made the June salary payments this afternoon from the proceeds of the sale of cars we announced Monday," Swedish Automobile head Victor Muller, who is also Saab's sole board member, said, apologising to employees.

"We have clearly gone through a very rough patch in the past few weeks and hopefully we can now reach agreement with our suppliers so as to ensure a resumption of our production in a controlled way," he said.

On Thursday there is a scheduled press gathering in Stockholm held by Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, where he will give his take on Saab's situation.

But according to his Swedish spokesperson Lars Carlström there is no special deal or solution to be discussed at the press conference.

"Everyone seems to want to see him and speak to him. We just want to relieve the pressure a little," Carlström told TT.

Both suppliers and trade unions have recently voiced the demand that Antonov is allowed to give Saab the cash injection that the disaster-riddled carmaker needs.

Head of union Metall, Stefan Löfven, wants the government to follow the lead of General Motors (GM) in approving Antonov as co-owner.

After GM's dialogue with Antonov they have declared themselves happy with him as a part-owner and financier.

According to TT, GM is now waiting for the Swedish government to do the same, in order for a joint approval of Antonov to be issued.

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