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Saab unions unhappy with bankruptcy receivers

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Saab unions unhappy with bankruptcy receivers
16:48 CET+01:00
Cash-strapped carmaker Saab's four main unions are unhappy with the appointed bankruptcy receivers but said on Monday that having them changed "would not help the situation".

“Nothing has been sent in writing to the district court calling for the receivers' departure. At this point in time, it's not relevant to send anything,” said the union's chief lawyer, Martin Wästfelt, to news agency TT.

The four unions met on Monday to consult regarding the situation of the company's bankruptcy. However, no demands are yet forthcoming.

“We have found that it serves no purpose in this situation to demand that the receivers are changed,” he said.

The four unions are planning to continue discussions on Tuesday.

“We will also meet with the receivers this week, probably on Thursday,” said Wästfelt to TT.

The appointed Saab receivers, lawyers Ann-Marie Pouteaux and Hans L Bergqvist, have been criticised for their "ignorance" and for "not realizing the complexity of Saab operations" according to the Dagens Industri newspaper (DI).

The unions IF Metall, Unionen, Ledarna and Akademikerna/Ingenjörsförbundet believe that the information they have been given by the receivers is inadequate.

According to DI, it has been confirmed that the receivers don't really understand Saab, and that the company inventory is far from over.

At the same time, this makes it impossible for the receivers to enter into negotiations with those who have expressed interest in taking over whole, or part, of the Saab Automobile business.

The two bankruptcy receivers are now themselves flagging for a potential conflict of interest. They have therefore requested in writing to Vänersborgs District Court on Monday that a co-trustee be appointed.

This regards the handling of “questions relating to the Saab brand, the label, the trade name and other related matters”, according to the lawyers.

They have therefore proposed that Kent Hägglund, a lawyer at Advokatfirman DLA Nordic in Stockholm, is appointed as co-receiver. According to Bergkvist and Pouteaux, he has been asked and is willing to undertake the task.

Bergqvist's office has earlier had various assignments with the defense and security company Saab Group.

“The Delphi Law Firm has had various assignments for Saab in regards to the brand and its use, among other things,” said Anders Blom, brand manager at Saab, to TT.

“Vänersborg District Court expects to make a decision concerning the appointment of Kent Hägglund on Thursday afternoon."

Before this can happen, however, the Supervisory Body for bankruptcy (Tillsynsmyndigheten för konkurser), under the Swedish Enforcement Agency (Kronofogdemyndigheten) will comment on the bankruptcy receivers' proposal for co-receivers.

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