Saab to appeal creditor protection rejection

Saab will submit on Monday an appeal against a Swedish court's rejection of its request for protection against bankruptcy, the parent company Swedish Automobile announced.

Saab to appeal creditor protection rejection

“Swedish Automobile announces that Saab … aims to submit their appeal on the district court’s decision to reject Saab Automobile’s proposal for voluntary reorganisation on Monday September 12, 2011,” it said in a statement Friday.

With no cash and stagnant sales, Saab, which employs 3,700 people, on Tuesday asked the court to grant it protection from its creditors.

Its debts amount to about €150 million ($210 million), according to Saab chief executive Victor Muller, and the company has stopped paying its suppliers who have in turn halted deliveries since April.

Salaries have not yet been paid for August.

The district court of Vänersborg in southwestern Sweden concluded on Thursday that “there is not enough reason to believe that a company reorganisation would be successful.”

It noted the company was unable to pay its debts and said there were significant doubts about whether it would be able to raise the necessary funds.

“Saab Automobile disagrees with this interpretation of the voluntary reorganisation proposal,” Swedish Automobile said.

The company had said it was eagerly waiting for some €245 million in funding from Chinese partners Pang Da and Youngman to arrive. It has said it expects the funding in November, pending the approval of Chinese authorities.

“In the meantime, Swan (Swedish Automobile) and Saab Automobile continue discussions with several parties about obtaining additional funding for the short term,” the statement said.

The court said on Thursday “it remains unclear if — or when — the Chinese authorities will approve the (funding) agreements.”

In early 2010, Saab was saved from bankruptcy by Dutch group Swedish Automobile, then called Spyker, which bought the brand from US car giant General Motors.

Muller has repeatedly said he was “very confident” the Chinese funds would come through and said the reorganisation request was especially aimed at allowing the company to find funding to hold it over until Chinese investments arrive.

Production at the company’s sole plant in Trollhätten, in southwestern Sweden, has been halted entirely since June.

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Trollhättan remembers school attack victims

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Three people were killed in an attack that shocked Sweden as a masked, sword-wielding assailant entered the school, stabbing students and teachers who appeared to be of foreign origin. Several people were also injured. The attacker, 21-year-old Anton Lundin Pettersson, was then shot dead by police.

“It was an attack on all of Sweden,” Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said as the procession ended outside the school.

In the week running up to the one-year anniversary, students of the school had made thousands of postcards in memory of the teacher, pupil and teacher aide who were killed in the assault.

A police investigation has showed that Lundin had planned the attack, which lasted around 10 minutes, after being inspired by racist websites.

A teenage student told The Local at the time that many people at the school at first thought it was some kind of a prank.

“I was in a classroom with my class when one of my classmates’ sisters called her to warn her that there was a murderer at the school. So we locked the door to the classroom, but our teacher was still outside in the corridor.”

“We wanted to warn him, so a few of us went outside and then I saw the murderer, he was wearing a mask and had a sword. Our teacher got stabbed.”

“The murderer started chasing me, I ran into another classroom. If I had not run, I would have been murdered. I’m feeling really scared. Everyone’s scared here.”

Trollhättan is an industrial town with around 50,000 residents.