Saab’s property deal approved by EIB

On Monday the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced its approval of Saab’s property sale, which will give the company the much needed cash-injection the it sought to acquire through the sale.

Saab's property deal approved by EIB

“The property sale has been approved,”Pär Isaksson, press officer for the Nordic and Baltic states at EIB, confirmed to news agency TT.

Last week Saab’s parent company Swedish Automobile signed an agreement to sell 50.1 percent of the shares in its property arm for 255 million kronor ($40 million), providing much needed cash for the crisis-hit Swedish car maker.

The buyer of the property is Hemfosa Fastigheter, a Swedish property consortium, according to a company statement from last week.

Earlier on Monday Swedish Automobile (formerly Spyker) and Saab Automobile announced the signing of final agreements with Pang Da Automobile and Youngman securing €245 million to the cash strapped carmaker.

However, the deal, which is opening for investment by Russian financier Vladimir Antonov, must also be approved by authorities for the deal to go through.

Three new vehicle lines will also be developed by Youngman; Saab 9-1, Saab 9-6 and Saab 9-7.

According to Saab CEO Victor Muller, the deal provides an opportunity to develop models that were not envisaged nor funded in the original business plan, like the 9-1, which is to be a small car for first-time buyers.

“A car that has long been on the top of our wish list,” Muller said in a statement on Monday.

Pang Qingnian, CEO of Youngman, said that the deal merges the “best of both worlds” when merging the “industrial and financial strength of Youngman Passenger Car with the state-of-the-art technical expertise of Saab Automobile.”

“We were already impressed with Saab’s current and planned product portfolio to date and with the addition of three new Saab models, the brand will be even better positioned to meet demand in markets around the world and China in particular,” said Pang Qinghua, CEO of Pang Da in a statement.

In Sweden it is now the National Debt Office (Riksgälden) that has to approve the Chinese deal, as well as the real estate sale to the Hemfosa property consortium, approved by EIB on Monday.

On Monday, the head of the information department at the National Debt Office, Unni Jerndal, couldn’t say when an answer can be expected.

Saab employees returned to work again on Monday to get an update on the situation.

According to the head of information at Saab, Eric Geers, the hope is that production lines will start rolling again next week.

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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.