New bidder in the Saab saga shows its hand

Less than 24 hours after Chinese firm Youngman reportedly placed a bid for Saab, another interested party has apparently joined the race to snap up the bankrupt carmaker.

New bidder in the Saab saga shows its hand

Mao Hai, vice president of Beijing Automotive Investment BAIC, told the website that the Chinese automotive giant is keen on buying up what remains of Saab possibly in a joint deal with Panasonic, to produce electric cars.

”Yes, we are considering it, but it’s also a rather complicated business,” he said.

It would not be the first time that BAIC has shown an interest in the Swedish firm, after it purchased tools for older Saab models in 2009.

So far however there has been no official word from Hans Bergqvist and Anne-Marie Pouteaux, the official receivers dealing with the Saab case.

“As we have previously made clear, we will not comment on details of individual stakeholders or bid during the sale process.”

According to the financial newspaper Dagens Industri, Youngman’s bid is between 2.2 and 3.2 billion kronor ($327 – $475 million).

Representatives from the Chinese company are reported to be in Sweden already to begin negotiations, while there have been no indication yet of what BAIC may be prepared to pay for Saab.

Much will depend on whether either of the interested parties would want to buy the carmaker in its entirety or just certain parts of it and it is still unclear even if a decision were to be reached soon, how quickly production could restart at the plant.

Deliveries have now been at a standstill for nearly a year and it would take a while to get the process up and running again.

”Even if we were to play with the idea that things could be resolved in a couple of weeks, production not be started earlier than mid-summer,” said Fredrik Sidahl, general manager of the branch organisation representing car suppliers, FKG.

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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.