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Saab Secures Financing

April 15, 2011 in News

At the 17:30 press conference in Rosenbad, Enterprise and Energy Minister Maud Olofsson announced that they have given Saab the go-ahead to borrow money from a European bank. The new owner of the Saab plant will be Saab Automobile AB Properties, which she confirmed is controlled by Vladimir Antonov. In turn, Sweden’s taxpayer exposure decreases since the loan guaranteed by Sweden will also decrease. The Debt Office continues to work on a review of Vladimir Antonov that will allow him to come in as part owner with a share just under 30% of the company. While this isn’t technically a transfer of money yet, Sweden’s freeing up of Saab’s collateral was one of the biggest hurdles in allowing Saab to gain access to sell its facilities and get quick access to capital. As Spyker said in their press statement, there are still issues yet to be resolved but this is the surest sign yet that Saab will be able to pay its debts very soon.

There are three tough conditions for the settlement:

  1. The price for the properties must be fair and the company has access to the Saab production facilities. Since the loan amount is being reduced by €120 million, one could assume that the purchase price of the factory might be somewhere around this number (in 2009 the property was valued somewhere around €110 million).
  2. Any questions remaining about Antonov must be resolved. This is to prevent any question of money laundering.
  3. The money must flow through a European bank that isn’t connected to Antonov.

Sadly the conditions are all there to satisfy any doubts about Vladimir Antonov, which I’m sure he’s happy to prove are unfounded. Time will heal, and his image will hopefully recover someday. For now, these are the conditions Saab has to live with, and while they may be overly complex, it’s a testament to Saab management to be able to pull another rabbit out of their hats.

The EIB loan facility will decrease to 280 million, of which Saab has already borrowed 217 million. No word yet on if the money must still be used for environmental projects, but by all accounts those conditions remain. According to Daniel Barr from the Swedish National Debt Office, the deal must be approved by the EIB. As you’ll read in Spyker’s press release below, there are still outstanding issues to be ironed out. Saab will be guaranteed a down payment of 30 million (Euro we think), but the facilities will bring in a lot, lot more. This frees up liquidity right away to pay suppliers and get the production line moving while at the same time giving Saab a buffer to work towards securing long-term financing. In other words, they’re not treading water anymore, they at least have a life preserver. Now it’s time to get back on the ship and get back to safer water.

Spyker’s press release:

SPYKER CONFIRMS STATEMENT SWEDISH GOVERNMENT ABOUT RELEASE OF NDO’S SECURITY IN SAAB PROPERTY

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 15 April 2011 – Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) confirms the announcement of the Swedish Government approving the release of the pledge of the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) in the shares of Saab Automobile Property AB (Saab Property), subject to certain conditions.

Saab Automobile AB continues its discussions with respect to the sale of its property, based on the additional conditions of the Swedish Government. The outcome of the discussions is still not certain and subject to the approval of the European Investment Bank.

In a telephone interview earlier today, Ola Kinnander of Bloomberg reported Victor said, ““This was the first step, we’ve been waiting for this way too long…Now we can work on the various conditions they’ve imposed that we’re trying to analyze. We will continue working through the weekend to reach agreement on the various points.”

No word yet on when production might restart, but Svenake Berglie says suppliers are willing to get the pipeline moving again. On April 12, Spyker said they wanted to get production started within a week, but as many have pointed out in comments, with various holidays coming up like Easter, there’s scheduled days off in between which should give some buffer time.

For more information and the sources of this information, see DI’s story and TTela’s story (and by all means visit dn.se and vote “Ja” (Saab will make it through the year). This post will be updated as we receive more information. As you could tell, your F5 keys crashed the site once already ;).

 

49 responses to Saab Secures Financing

  1. Any idea of the date of approval of VA as shareolder ?

    • They didn’t comment, only that they’re working as hard and fast as possible to clear him as an investor. Olofsson’s representatives will be pressed on this question more, and if we hear any word we’ll report it.

  2. When I read the press release from Spyker I read a different story. They say the following:

    Saab Automobile AB continues its discussions with respect to the sale of its property, based on the additional conditions of the Swedish Government. The outcome of the discussions is still not certain and subject to the approval of the European Investment Bank.

    So nothing has been sold and the EIB still has to approve the sale.

  3. Jag talar inte svenska…so unfortunately it has to be F5 for me, Jeff. ;)

  4. The complete press release from Spyker:

    Published: 18:16 CEST 15-04-2011 /Thomson Reuters /Source: Spyker Cars N.V. /XAMS: SPYKR /ISIN: NL0000380830

    SPYKER CONFIRMS STATEMENT SWEDISH GOVERNMENT ABOUT RELEASE OF NDO’S SECURITY IN SAAB PROPERTY

    Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 15 April 2011 – Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) confirms the announcement of the Swedish Government approving the release of the pledge of the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) in the shares of Saab Automobile Property AB (Saab Property), subject to certain conditions.

    Saab Automobile AB continues its discussions with respect to the sale of its property, based on the additional conditions of the Swedish Government. The outcome of the discussions is still not certain and subject to the approval of the European Investment Bank.

    - Ends -

  5. Nice work.

    As long as the burn rate slows, this should give Saab some breathing room to secure additional financing. Fingers crossed.

    • I don’t get the point on what he is saying. The chain is dry? It will take weeks to restart??

      • A week..
        I think that ther earlier mentioned date of 26/4 seems reasonable.
        We have a coiuple of holidays coming up so it would fit

        • oops..Sorry. i am not sure if the Swedes have as many holidays as us in Denmark…we only have 3 workdays next week, and most companies choose to nearly close in those 3 days.

          • I think they have 4 work days next week in Sweden, but I think the problem may be to get all the needed parts (made and/or) to the SAAB site. It is natural that this will take some time.

            I hope all issues will be solved very soon, SAAB need that.

  6. But when does production re-start? Monday?

  7. That’s certainly good news. Cheers! At least for now.

    Up to date Saab has borrowed 217mil euros from the EIB loan.
    Has all this money gone within 1 year?
    Of course all this money goes towards environmental projects.
    Does this mean that Saab has still money for R&D environmental projects or all of it was spent?

  8. ¿You all are asking where is the money of the EIB? Devolopment for example of the new 9-3

    I WANT MY NEW 9-3 NEXT YEAR!!! In med Ryssen NU!!!! Dentro con el Ruso YA!!! In with the RUSSIAN NOW!!

  9. I sincerely hope this is the last time this happens.

    Saab, have to get their act together, otherwise we couls see it again 1-2 years down the road.

    I wish them well & can see there are some good prodjects in the pipeline. Please VM, make certain Saab & Co, moves now to higher & safer ground….

    • I agree with you. SAAB needs to move to safer ground.
      Rather solid models with low CO2 that firm and rent companies can buy/lease than new fancy stuff that you can´t get out there so people can buy it.
      Why not put the new eAAM axle in the current 9-3?

  10. Big thanks to VA and everyone at Saab, NDO etc who made this possible! Fingers crossed for Muller & Co to also get the final questions solved to get VA in, and great to soon have Saab back on the main task at hand: Selling enough cars to avoid this kind of things to happen again. =)

  11. so we’re good to go now?

  12. On Mr Antonovs twitter:

    “Ok guys! One step closer to success! We will sort it out.
    One way or another!
    This company MUST survive!:)”

    http://twitter.com/vladantonov1975

    :)

    • well, that’s certainly sending out good signals.

    • I’m really impressed with VA taking this public beating and humiliation from mrs Windmill and her ministry. There is an article in http://www.svd.se pushing the subject of Antonov being the most investigated person in sweden and still accused of wanting saab for money laundering but without any other evidence than being interested in saab. But supporting a confident underdog is a serious crime in sweden. No one has yet been able to explain to me why one would choose a public company with hoards of journos, the eib, ndo and a shitload of other bureaucrats to scam.

      Mrs Windmill’s party is on the brink of being irrelevant in swedish politics and is in danger in the next election. Or should we say good riddance…

      • The reasoning is that a very public company with a very public profile is a great place to put funds that might be considered suspect. That’s why GM insisted on the specific sale conditions.

        But frankly, I (and likely most other Saab owners) don’t care where the money comes from…if he’s saving Saab, then more power to him.

        • Yes I understand that a public company is necessary for laundry but this is not any public company. It’s probably the company in northern europe with most eyes watching. With the whole corps of journalists in Sweden trying to get anything to jump on the SAAB bad publicity train I would be really surprised it anything on VA would appear. I’m sure they would have found his skeletons by now if there were any.

          If VA really were the maffia-boss-murderer the media wants him to be in their wet dreams I’m also sure the SAAB 9-5 is to rare and noticeable for efficiently dumping corpses in the woods! Sorry VA ;)

          • I’ve only read snippets here and there about Antonov, but everything seems to be hearsay and secondhand rumor. Are there any credible sources on his background and allegations? I understand Swedish state police mentioned finding something on him, but I never learned what it was.

            I hope he’s a swell guy, but in the end, my interest is in a bright, healthy future for Saab. I really could care less who’s running the company, as long as their intentions are good. I just want to make sure there still is a company.

          • No, nothing was found except a few malicious rumours spread by a disappointed business rival. That is probably also what the Swedish secret police had picked up. Two independent investigations, one of which commissioned by the Riksgälden themselves, have cleared both Antonovs as well as their banks of any alleged wrongdoings. So my guess would be that the current investigation into VA isn’t so much about VA’s integrity as a person or a banker but about the ability of his banking business(es) to raise the funds needed to buy VA into Saab and providing further funding needed to keep Saab afloat after that.

            My 2 cts.

            Ivo

  13. A great way to start the weekend! I know it will get fully sorted.

  14. So maybe I don’t have to order that XC60 after all,
    and just go ahead and order the 9-4X !
    :-) :-) :-)

  15. Indeed. I say ban him unless we see that proof of deposit!

  16. dn.se has a 10 question test (in Swedish) for those who want to check how much they know about Saab.

    (As usual, sorry if accidentally posting a link that has already been posted somewhere else at SU. :) )

    • I managed 10 out of 10, but if I have to be truthful: I guessed at the answers to #2 (I did not remember which track Erik got his nickname, but I was quite sure which one it wasn’t so it was down to 50/50), #4 (Viktor never tells me anything, I had no idea of his rally plans for this year) and #5 (well, again it was 50/50, but I was admittedly familiar with one of those shows).

  17. TV4 Nyhetsmorgon just had a pretty balanced discussion about Saab I suppose it will show up on their website later today.

    • …although when R. Collin accused the government for not wanting to have any Swedish car industry (contrary to the governments in other countries at the same time) I must say that the government are not the only ones who could take some blaming for not beeing overly supportive when Saab really would have needed it the most. ;)

  18. So it was white smoke I saw ……

    Good to read that solutions are within reach.
    And now for the future: how will Saab prevent such a crisis to happen again in the future, in terms of planning, organization and HR? I think, after getting the production re-started, this should be a mid-term focus for the Saab management.

  19. With Swedish Enterprise and Energy Sinister Maud Awfulsson on the case, what me worry?

  20. Great news for SAAB and SAAB lovers, me included. Hope springs eternal. However, I believe the unintended consequences of VA’s apparent participation is a looming public relations nightmare for sales in the USA.

    Does anyone truly believe the Amercian motoring and rightwing press won’t editorialize and drag in VA’s alledged unsavory past? If so, you haven’t been watching how divisive the mainstream media has become on this side of the Atlantic. Everything, and I mean everything, gets covered in a smelly, irrational, politically charged coating. I hope it doesn’t happen but hope is not a “course of action”.

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