JAJ on the Saab deal – not saying much just yet.

There’s been so much mixed up coverage of the Saab deal in the last few days. It’s closed. It’s not closed. Deals with suppliers. No deals with suppliers.

Does anyone out there really know what’s going on?

Yes. But most likely they can’t or won’t tell because it’s Koenigsegg’s job to come out and break the story and as we all know, they don’t seem to keen on doing that.

Hence, Jan-Ake Jonsson was left with the job of addressing a frustrated group of suppliers and media at a suppliers group conference yesterday. Here’s a brief summary from Swedish Radio.

Translation supplied by ctm (thanks again, dude)

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“Saab deal basically financed”

The financing of Koenigsegg Group’s purchase of Saab Automobile is almost complete. It says Jan-Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile, who today spoke in Södertälje at an industry event for suppliers to the automotive industry.

– “We now have a few weeks when we have to get everything together and then I’m sure we will have resolved most issues,” says Jan-Åke Jonsson.

When you can present a complete financing?

– “Well, we’ve always said that our goal is having completed this transaction in late October and that is what we currently are working with.”

You have previously said that three billion is missing. How much of that have you managed to secure?

– “I will not comment on how much is missing. I can only say that the gap that has been discussed is something we at the moment have almost closed and I am confident that we will do so also. We are almost there at the moment.”

How have you managed to close the gap?

– “I will not comment on that” says Jan-Åke Jonsson.

SR has received information indicating that at least one other car manufacturer, in addition to current owner General Motors, is prepared to make investments to get Saab Automobile on its feet.

Jan-Åke Jonsson would not directly comment on this information, but he says he believes that Saab Automobile will be involved in more deals later on and that Koenigsegg Group’s purchase is not the last step for Saab Automobile.

– “The fact is that I believe that in the future the industry will evolve so that we will see lots of collaborations. With suppliers, which we had here today in Södertälje, as well as other vehicle manufacturers. We see this today and I believe it will increase in future, and certainly there will be possibilities for us,” says Jan-Åke Jonsson.

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Let’s sum up the scenario. We have:

  • A Saab car company that’s come out of their reconstruction protection phase and therefore needed to be sure of a deal
  • An owner with a plan that needed 3billionSEK to be successful
  • A loan financier (the EIB) that needs a robust business plan to stress-test and approve
  • A government that won’t help other than by way of loan guarantees if the EIB gives the nod
  • A corporate parent (GM) who want to sell
  • A new corporate parent (KG) with plenty of international business experience (but worse PR chops than cancer – at this point)
  • A new 2010 Saab 9-5 that really, really needs a good launch
  • A motor show in Frankfurt in around 12 days

What’s the missing link here?

It’s the new investor, which Swedish Radio say is another car company. My info says this is no half-baked theory. KG might have been draggin their feet a little – wasting time on trying to squeeze money from the Swedish government – but now that the rubber has hit the road, they’ve managed to pull in another investor.

Frankfurt’s not far away, and I’m pretty sure they’ll want that to be all about the car.

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