Saab News – The crazy week that was

Personally speaking, this week has been a whirlwind.
I’ve done 70% of a build on a website for my wife’s paintings, 60% of a build for the SU Historic Rally Team website as well as all the usual stuff like this site, day job work, family, etc. Actually, the family probably got a bit neglected this week. Oh, and I had a 99Turbo purchase buzzing through my head in all that, too.
The net result of this is probably sub-par coverage where the events of the last few days are concerned. Some articles have been followed up and finished off in comments rather than on the front page, which is not the way things should be.
So I thought it important to summarise the news of last few days as it’s been a pretty hectic time.
And don’t worry, many of the major English-speaking outlets are just getting around to covering the Koenigsegg Group ownership saga from last Friday, so you’re still ahead of the non-Swedish-media curve.
On someone leaving the Koenigsegg Group….
The story first broke in GP.se last week that the K-Segg deal for Saab was in danger because one of the K-Segg Group owners was leaving the group.
Joran Hagglund (Industry Ministry Secretary), whilst simultaneously damaging the reputations of both Saab and Koenigsegg, did claw back a little and stated that the departure of one stakeholder was not likely to scuttle the deal.
Dagens Industri seem to be the first publication to name the departing K-Segg Group member as 22% owner, Mark Bishop.
No-one inside the group has officially commented on this, but on-one has denied that someone is leaving, either.
IF Metall union boss, Paul Akerlund, expressed confidence straight away that the deal would still get done.
Questioned for the first time about reorganisation in the context of the different group dynamic, Gunilla Gustavs from Saab indicated that “Saab would leave reconstruction when the time is right….” Saab’s original intention was to not seek a further extension to reorganisation protection, which is due before August 20.
Dagens Industri write again that it is Mark Bishop who has sold his shares in K-Segg Group. Still, this hasn’t been confirmed by anyone in the company.
At the same time, Paul Akerlund is confident that the deal will be ready to be done within 2 weeks. He says that he knows nothing of Bishop jumping ship, but knows that negotiations are ongoing and that even if Bishop sold his stake, he doesn’t see how that would change.
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On K-Segg’s Finances and EIB Loans….
Things went into overdrive after ‘the Bishop saga’.
Much to everyone’s chagrin, there were still no statements forthcoming from anyone in the Koenigsegg Group, however there were more “inside sources” from the Industry Ministry who were willing to have a chat.
Thus the news that Augie Fabela, Chairman of the Koenigsegg Group, would be meeting with the Swedish Industry Ministry through the week. Now people familiar with proceedings say they’re meeting with someone from Saab or Koenigsegg virtually every day, but this seemed to be something more.
…possibly around $500million more.
Eric Geers said at this time that we will have to wait to see what the final ownership structure would look like, but that Koenigsegg group were strong and ambitious.
Augie Fabela started to emerge as the driving force within the Koenigsegg Group. As such, you should get to know him a little.
DN.se reported that the government now has a clear picture of who’s behind the K-Segg Group, though all concerned still refused to confirm that it was Mark Bishop who sold his stake.
Meanwhile, Koenigsegg sent their business plan for Saab to the European Investment Bank (EIB). This information will be added to application materials already submitted by Saab.
The next meeting where the EIB loan can be approved is September 22. Of course, the Swedish government probably need to provide loan guarantees prior to that.
We also got someinsight into the EIB loans process, where the EIB painted themselves to be quite nasty banking overlords.
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Saab vehicle production news
Last night a story from DI.se claimed that a need to save money whilst the Koenigsegg deal was awaiting completion had forced Saab to delay the introduction of the 2010 Saab 9-5.
Saab’s union bosses, and later Saab’s PR people, indicated that this story was inaccurate. They also highlighted that 9-3x production had commenced, on schedule.
And finally, when I woke up this morning, there was an email from a European dealer stating that 2010 Convertibles could now be ordered again as production would stay in Graz for some time rather than being moved to Trollhattan.
Saab’s consolidation of production in Trollhattan was a key part of it’s future business strategy, but perhaps the reason for Koenigsegg getting their Business Plan into the EIB only this week is because that strategy might have changed. Maybe they have some other plans for the capacity at Trollhattan?
I’ve written to Saab seeking more information about convertible issue.
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I think most of these issues were resolved to a large degree, however there are a few questions remaining:

  1. Did Mark Bishop really sell his stake in the Koenigsegg Group?
  2. Is convertible production staying in Graz for the time being?
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