Wednesday night snippets – battle-axe edition

There are reactions all over the place to Saab’s reprieve, but you’ve probably read all those by now.

TTELA have a couple of very interesting pieces in today’s paper. The first of these is the VikingsGrrrrrr.jpg local Trollhattan mayor, Gert-Inge Andersson, calling for the government to put party lines aside, put away their battle axes and defend Trollhattan and the jobs at Saab.

It is important that we get a clear signal from the society that there is too much fuss in politics I have appealed to all parties that it is important to put battle axes to one side and try to gather around a solution for Saab. I think of the 8 000 depending on Saab and their families, “said Andersson to the TT on Wednesday morning.

I’d prefer to see them take up battle axes and physically defend the plant from oncoming marauders from undesirable companies. But that’s just me 🙂
Viking Up!!
Andersson makes a call in particular for relaxation of the six-month repayment schedule for state aid set up by the Swedish parliament earlier in the year. It’s the six-month term that has led to the rescue funds being used by no-one in the automotive sector.
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The other interesting snippet in TTELA is the opinion of one automotive analyst, Matts Carlsson, who says that Saab should be a very tempting proposal for a hungry company looking for a global exposure.

Matts Carlsson, an auto analyst who works as a consultant and its own Chalmers, believes that the current crisis facing the automotive industry is seen as an opportunity for smaller companies and countries that want to take new shares of the world. And in this context, Saab have a great value, not least through its worldwide distribution.

Agreed. Technology, efficiency and history aren’t the only things attractive about Saab. This really is a desirable enterprise.
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I’d like to take a moment to clear something up that I think has been mis-stated in the Swedish press in the last few days with regards to Merbanco. They’re out of the game, but a few people have written to me about this issue and I don’t want any questions about Merbanco’s reputation.
There have been some reports in Swedish news services saying that Merbanco is related to AGCO. Back in my initial interview with CJ, he gave a run down on the connection, but some have assumed it still exists. Consequently, some reporters in Sweden made calls to AGCO as part of their checking and were told that they’ve never heard of Merbanco. Concerns were raised and some have been written in news reports, however briefly.
The relationship is an historic one, not a current one, as was mentioned in that first interview. Also, the connection doesn’t involve Merbanco by name, but one of the members of the Merbanco consortium. Christopher Johnston’s father (and partner in Merbanco), Richard P. Johnston, was an executive member of the company that formed AGCO and was a founding member of AGCO’s board.
Even though Merbanco’s out of the picture now, I felt an obligation to tidy that one up.
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This is a Spyker C8, for those who were ignorant unfamiliar (like me).
SpykerC8.jpg
And thanks to Michael in comments, here’s some info about Spyker:
CEO: Victor R. Muller.
Founded in: 1875, was shut down in 1925 and re-launched in 2000.
Net profit: minus 8.7 million euros in the first half (-8.8 million in H1 -08).
Quotation: traded on Euronext Amsterdam since 2004.
Board:
Vladimir Antonov (words). Russian. Born: 1975.
His Huge Holtz (Vice Chairman). Dutchmen. Born: 1950.
Maurizio La Noce. American. Born. 1957th
Martins Bondars. Lett. Born. 1971st
The largest shareholder is a Lithuanian bank Snoras and Russian Conversbank controlled by the only 34-year-old banker Vladimir Antonov. He began pumping money into the Spyker at the end of 2007 and is Spykers chairman since last year.
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Conversbank (http://www.conversbank.com/banks/) is quite a large financial group, as of June 1, 2006 consolidated assets that are managed by the International Finance Group (IFG) Conversbank in Russia and the EU countries increased to 3.2 billion U.S. dollars, the equity the banks of the Group reached 294.7 million U.S. dollars.

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