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Endeavour Advisory Group

August 19, 2011 in News

We like to give everyone the latest news here. Sometimes (a lot of times) we’ll hear whispers that we can’t possibly report on, because they’re likely to harm Saab’s deal making in some way or form. But tonight, we have a very weird and unorthodox story that’s breaking.

This story comes to us not from a Swedish paper, but from one that covers Asia-Pacific deals. The subject of the piece was primarily about venture capital deals in Hawaii from a particularly young private equity firm based in New York, that just opened new offices in Colorado, California, and Sweden. Endeavor Advisory Group confirmed to PBN (Pacific Business News) that they’re working on a deal with Saab. David Khalizad, a name we most likely will be getting very familiar with in the next day or so, is CEO of Endeavor, and admitted to PBN, “I must say, you guys look like geniuses,” when they figured out the deal after publishing their original article, confirming that it was true that they’re in talks with Saab. The oddest part is that this is part of a much larger project aimed at Environmental Pojects. Since PBN figured it out from Khalizad, Endeavor all but confirmed it themselves, by posting the PBN article on their website:

In the next 60 days or so, Endeavor plans to announce transactions that will be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, Khalilzad said.

Those announcements aren’t likely to include any Hawaii companies, but it’s looking to move pretty fast with renewable-energy projects in this state.

One of Endeavor’s first investments could be in the cash-strapped Swedish auto maker Saab, though Khalilzad wouldn’t identify the company beyond saying it’s a Swedish auto maker. It is also working with companies in Germany and Arizona on renewable-energy projects.

Mysteriously, this quote mentioned in PBN’s blog by Duane Shimogawa has been removed from the Endeavor website:

“Swedish Auto Giant Saab Automobile AB has hired Endeavor Advisory Group as investment banker to raise the company $350 million Euros in debt financing,” Endeavor Chairman and CEO David Khalilzad said. “We are very pleased that Saab Automobile AB has chosen Endeavor and Saab CEO Victor Muller said it is great to work with Endeavor Advisory Group.”

So that’s that folks. It’s not a quick fix (60 days), it’s not detailed yet, but it’s certainly being handled by the best in the business. Americans are sitting on trillions in cash, waiting for solid investments on the cheap to take advantage of. Saab seems ripe for the picking. Some might say the cat is out of the bag, others might say the rabbit is popping out of the hat. I’m not going to go into much more about it, and I’m not even going to hint whether or not this story jives with what else I’ve heard. All I can say is, the rabbit seems like he’s ready to come out of his hat again.

All credit to Jason on this one for finding the story.

_______________

For those of you unfamiliar with private equity groups, they’re basically cool investment arms for super rich people and institutions. David happened to run a very, very successful one, Geneva Capital Corporation, and has since gone on to found Endeavor. More about David Khalizad, from Endeavor’s website:

David Khalizad, Founder, Chairman

David Khalilzad began his financial services career at Citigroup in 1987, rising to Vice President, Real Property Services in charge of Commercial Real Estate. In 1990, he started his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley, one of the nation’s leading global financial institutions, becoming Senior Vice President in 1995. In 1997 Mr. Khalilzad founded Geneva Capital Corporation, where he served as Chairman and CEO for thirteen years. He was also founder and Chairman of U.S. Ethanol Holdings, which owned six ethanol plants in Illinois, Indiana, and California with a capacity of over 600 million gallons per year. Mr. Khalilzad is an honors graduate of the Department of Economics and Political Science, New York University, where he received the prestigious Founder’s Day Award in 1987.

No office location in Sweden is given on Endeavor’s website, though their Colorado and California locations are listed. Their global headquarters in New York on Park happen to be a few blocks from my office (and Jason Castriota’s new office too), so we might all have to stop over for a visit soon.

61 responses to Endeavour Advisory Group

  1. “you guys look like geniuses…..”

    Huh? For figuring out which of 2 Swedish car companies needed debt financing?

    I’m sorry, but financial engineering ain’t gonna save saab.

    • From my interpretation of Duane Shimogawa’s article where he confirms it, it’s part sarcasm and part sequencing (the confirmation of Saab involvement was a follow up not in the original article, but personal contact with David). All in all, I’m impressed that Pacific Business News could do what hundreds of news starved Swedish journalists couldn’t. They’re not looking so hot at DI or TV4 right now, but I can assure you they’re scrambling.

    • I agree 100% that further leveraging is worrying (especially in a World where since 2008 companies have worked hard in order to deleverage), but I’m waiting to see exactly what kind of debt instruments are used in this deal…

  2. Windmills? Maud would be pleased. ;) But on a serious note this is very interesting news.

    Took my car on a 250mile jaunt today which made me appreciate what brilliant cars they really turn out in Trollhattan. Cleared my head a little too.

    • Same here Zippy. 240 miles in the 9k aero @ 75mph average. a little over 33mpg :0 of course gas station calculations would be more accurate over longer distances, but 240miles is probably long enough.

  3. Thanks Jeff, I’m just glad it seems to be falling into place and heading in the right direction.

  4. Renewable energy , ethanol, saab

  5. I was researching this news story as well. I contacted Duane Shimogawa about this statement supposedly being posted on Endeavor’s website. He replied saying he couldn’t find it anymore either.

    Swedish Auto Giant Saab Automobile AB has hired Endeavor Advisory Group as investment banker to raise the company $350 million Euro in debt financing,” Endeavor Chairman and CEO David Khalilzad said. “We are very pleased that Saab Automobile AB has chosen Endeavor and Saab CEO Victor Muller said it is great to work with Endeavor Advisory Group.

    • I did the same Frank. Funny how things disappear so quickly. This wasn’t supposed to be public info yet, but PBN outed the story, not us.

  6. This is not weird or unorthodox – this is a straight news report about a possible deal we all know has to be in the pipeline. My guess is this is the EIB loan replacement given the environmental angle of this investment group.

    I’d bet real money that Victor has something else lined up, too, to cover the 60 day gap before this deal closes.

    • What’s weird is that the news has been out there but unreported by the Swedish journalists for some time now while they trash talked the board. Usually they jump all over these stories, so when a Hawaiian business daily catches it way before they do, that’s certainly strange. Also, what’s strange is how this news leaked out so far in advance of a press release, while sounding like it was right out of one. My best guess is that Endeavor’s communications staff is seriously new at this game, and messed something up. Oops.

    • My guess is this is the EIB loan replacement given the environmental angle of this investment group.

      Now that would be great news getting the EU Politburo out of Saabs’ face for good.

  7. Endeavor posted the PBN article in their “News and Events” section, so it does seem like they’re in talks with Saab :)

  8. Sounds promising. Just hope it doesn’t turn into rabbit stew.

  9. Ha, to all you doubters out there. Saab is a brand name, that spells high end engineering and marketing. MV understood this from day one.
    That other people also do, is now clear. This is not another Oldsmoblie end game. Saabs will be build by someone, somewhere in the future. It is an international brand name of great value. Bean counters don’t always get it right.

  10. Just woke up, sunshine outside and promising news here at SU. The US Saab convention today might be one he…l of à party!

  11. Rumors! Until the money is in the bank its just rumors!

  12. Saab232, That does Di aswell!! Rumors it is even if its good rumors. Wait until the money isin the locked account and the suppliers are getting paid.

  13. It may be a rumor, but there is a difference to this rumor than to the rumors run by the swedish press lately:
    Someone actually made a statement regarding this.

  14. Khrisdk, How do you know its a real statement since there is no pressrelease or link anymore?

    But I hope its true :)

  15. Tripod, Its not possible on the mobile version to reply. Thats why.

    • I guessed that. Good to know that people follow SU wherever they are, out and about, in the sky or on the ground. :)

    • What phone do you use? Safari on my company iPhone shows posts chronologically, but there’s a button to turn off the mobile view which I assume (I have never tried it) takes me to the blog’s standard layout… Maybe you have a similar option on your phone? ;)

  16. We need production now, our customers who are waiting for delivery won’t take another 60 days !!!!!

    • Let`s hope, as Mr Abbot states above, that VM has something else cooking for the short run.
      I`m a customer waiting for my car. It`s supposed to be delivered late september (95 SC) so I`m still hopefull, although I don`t mind waiting another day or two :)
      This is however great news!

    • A question to saablover: Have any of your clients who have ordered cars (and, I suppose, paid deposits in orer to secure their place on the orders book) withdrawn their orders?

  17. Just want to quote Stephan Lövgren from his article in Göteborgs Posten this Tuesday in reference to the latest money taken from GEM Fund.

    “There is a positive perspective on this situation especially among the enthusiasts at saabsunited.com. That positive perspective is that this (money from GEM) is just a plan B and just a temporary solution until the real Deal is in place. How much one wants to believe that this is the case it is still difficult to believe it.”

    Well Stephan – let’s see who was right.

  18. To me this, finally, does absolutely make sense. Saab and renewable energy/fuels (ethanol!!!) belong together like nothing else. What Saab needs in order to become a successfull car manufacturer again – at the sight of the dramatic loss in confidence into our brand on the markets due to the latest issues – is a uniqe selling point (USP). Saabs great experience with and their broad range of biopower models ist just that. For me, at least, this was the main reason to buy a Saab. GRIFFIN UP!

  19. What a start into the day! Driving top-down to work in great weather – and now this news!
    Keep my fingers crossed that everything works out fine… :-)

  20. The agony… Sometimes i reallyhate these times of internet, viral media and instant news… I would have loved to hear the news for the first time when the deal is signed, like in the old days, with a TV news item of VM and whoever holding up a signed agreement, smiling to flashing cameras and happily responsing to questions at a press confeence…

  21. Where is the picture of the rabbit pulled out of the hat? I loved to wake up to it. :)

  22. Gentlemen, the Fat lady has just sat down and won’t be singing for a long time!

    great news!

  23. And I heard Saab had just sent her in for gastric band surgery. ;)

  24. Ok, an “advisory group” founded in 2011 by somebody you haven’t ever heard of who previously worked for a “Geneva Capital” (there are literally dozens of companies by that name) has been HIRED by Saab to RAISE CAPITAL right after bankruptcy looms really near and suddenly a newspaper gets wind of it by some really tough investigational journalism… News? Perhaps… Credible change in Saab’s situation in view of what has been and is going on? Hardly…

    Smoke and mirrors can only take one so far…

    • Can you please stop having such kind of doubts? :P :P :P J/K, I agree with you. The whole story, as the Americans put it, plum stinks…

      But seriously, now: SAAB just hired a consultant to find investors, i.e. fresh money, and anyone like you and me who takes 5 minutes to go through Endeavor’s website can see that these ‘news’ is nothing more than that. There is nothing more to these ‘news’, unless SWAN stock price movements and any insiders dealings in SWAN stock (which have to be reported to the Stock Exchange) show someone making good money out of SAAB’s misery.

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