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SAAB

Saab bonuses upheld despite crisis

Despite the ongoing crisis surrounding Saab no action will be taken over payouts and bonuses paid to shareholders, following a government audit.

Saab bonuses upheld despite crisis

Dagens Industri reports that the stricken carmaker paid out some 40 million kronor last year to its mother company Spyker as the the company struggled to stay afloat. However the payments, including chairman Victor Muller’s four million kronor salary were not deemed excessive, the audit concluded.

Meanwhile as the fight for survival goes on, the companies involved in the purchase of Saab’s factories may have the chance to take over the carmaker’s property company for nothing in the case of an eventual bankruptcy, the same paper reveals.

Several companies, including Hemfosa and Paulssonsfären bought shares in Saab’s property portfolio in July, which was seen as a potential lifesaving source of income for the carmaker.

The consortium paid some 230 million kronor for about 50% of the shares. What happens to the shares in the event of Saab’s bankruptcy remains unclear, but one possibility is that the consortium would be able to pick up all the shares for what would amount to a fraction of the current value.

Meanwhile, on a lighter note, bloggers on a site dedicated to Saab enthusiasts and owners have organised a huge party and convoy on October 1st to celebrate the car and the company. Bloggers on saabsunited.com report that interest has been huge in the event which is set to take place in Trollhättan.

”There are organized convoys from large parts of Europe” blogger Tim Rokka told Radio station P4, with visitors expected from as far away as the U.S and Canada.

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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.