Saab trustees declare multi-billion kronor debt

Saab has announced official figures of their multi-billion kronor debt, as the struggling car manufacturer and its assets go under the hammer on Tuesday.

Saab trustees declare multi-billion kronor debt

Saab is in debt to the tune of 13 billion kronor ($1.92 billion), while the company’s assets only total 3.6 billion kronor, according to the estate inventory submitted by trustees to Vänersborgs District Court on Tuesday.

The selling of Saab’s estate – the carmaker Saab and subsidiaries Saab Automobile Powertrain and Saab Automobile Tools – will still leave the company in debt, however.

While the bankruptcy trustees’ reports are still unfinished, it is estimated that the final debt will be 9.4 billion kronor.

Sweden’s National Debt Office (Riksgälden), which is owed 2.2 billion kronor by Saab for having guaranteed a loan from the European Investment Bank, is likely to get its money back, according to the trustees.

In addition to the debts detailed in Monday’s filing, former Saab owner General Motors (GM) owns 2.2 billion kronor worth of preferred stock which can also be considered as a debt.

However, GM would only be able to collect on the sum if the bankruptcy ended up with a surplus, which administrators say won’t happen.

The claims of 3,600 former Saab employees have contributed to the debt, in the form of salary guarantees totaling 513 million kronor.

During the bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, the Swedish state has paid out a total of 870 million kronor in salary guarantees.

According to Saab’s trustees, former employees should not expect to get any further compensation from the company, whereas staff from Powertrain, a Saab subsidiary, can expect some money.

The total liabilities related to Saab employees is estimated to be 1.4 billion kronor.

Former Saab CEO Victor Muller told news agency TT via text message that he has yet to review the trustee’s estate inventory and refused to comment information about the company’s assets and debts.

Monday is also the final day for interested buyers to submit their final offers for Saab’s assets.

According to the news agency, there have been a handful of prospective buyers, including the Chinese Youngman firm and the Mahindra company from India.

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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.