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‘Multi-billion-kronor’ bid for bankrupt Saab: report

Chinese carmaker Youngman has placed a bid for bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab, public broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR) reported on Thursday.

'Multi-billion-kronor' bid for bankrupt Saab: report

“A first bid has been submitted for carmaker Saab,” SR said, adding that several unidentified sources had named the bidder as Youngman.

It provided no other details, saying only that it was a multi-billion-kronor (one billion kronor = $148 million) bid.

Saab’s liquidators were not immediately available for comment.

Youngman showed keen interest in snapping up Saab before it declared bankruptcy, but its efforts were thwarted by the Swedish brand’s former owner GM, which balked at transferring the necessary technology licences.

A delegation from the Chinese company was reportedly in Sweden this week to

try to hammer out a deal.

Saab filed for bankruptcy on December 19. It was already on the brink of bankruptcy when GM sold it in early 2010 to Dutch company Swedish Automobile (SWAN) — at the time called Spyker — for $400 million.

The past two years have been lined with desperate efforts and numerous failed deals to keep it afloat.

One of Saab’s three liquidators, Hans Bergqvist, told Swedish news agency TT on Sunday that up to five companies were interested in buying Saab but would not disclose any names.

In addition to Youngman, Indian commercial utility vehicles manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra has reportedly expressed an interest, while Turkish private equity firm Brightwell Holdings said recently it would place a bid “as soon as they (the administrators) are ready to accept bids.”

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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.