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Volvo's Chinese owner interested in Saab: report

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Volvo's Chinese owner interested in Saab: report
09:06 CEST+02:00
China's Geely, owner of Volvo Cars, has indicated an interest in acquiring a stake in troubled Swedish automaker Saab Automobile, according to media reports.

According to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, Saab's Chinese partner Youngman, which had previously promised to pay the cash-strapped car maker 640 million kronor ($93 million), may be backing out of the deal.

Instead, Geely, which acquired Volvo from Ford in 2010, has expressed an interest in Saab.

“One sign of this is that Geely has approached Saab's reconstructor, lawyer Guy Lofalk,” a source told the newspaper.

Lofalk, the court-appointed administrator of Saab's reconstruction, recently visited China as a part of his work on Saab's reorganisation.

According to DN, Geely has been watching Saab's struggles with interest, but has stayed cautious about entering the fray.

However, amid fears that a Saab bankruptcy could mean the end of the brand, the Chinese automaker appears to view ownership as a viable option.

On Wednesday, Saab confirmed that an expected payment from Youngman would be delayed and that it remained unclear when the funds may arrive.

A Volvo spokesperson refused to comment on the report, deferring inquires to Geely.

Saab has been under bankruptcy protection since September 21st when a Swedish appeals court approved the company's request to carry out a business reorganisation, giving Saab a reprieve from creditors.

After 12 weeks, the bankruptcy protection would be lifted if no extension request had been filed and granted, it said.

Saab's Dutch parent company Swedish Automobile has argued it only needs to keep its creditors at bay until regulatory approval goes through for its anticipated cash injection of €245 million ($335 million) from its Chinese partners Pang Da and Youngman.

The company, which says it has about €150 million in outstanding debt, has said it expects this cash influx in November. 

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