Yesterdays no to the reorganization plan was like a punch in the face. Honestly I don’t really get all points from the reasoning of the court but that’s another topic. But it made me think. Think about other options that Saab may have to get through this. I brought that thought further and even after I discussed it with Tim it still didn’t seem completely unrealistic. So I decided to share it here.
How about starting an unofficial reorganization? This idea is based on the fact that all parties (suppliers, unions, potential investors) were really positive on Saab filing for reconstruction. So if the court won’t agree how about getting everyone at one table to reach a binding agreement requiring certain behaviour and actions from every party.
The suppliers would have to agree to a payment plan that allows Saab to restart production as soon as possible. Lars Holmquist, the head of CLEPA just recently said they would be willing to do so if Saab pays at least a part of its debt. Still, as mentioned in the filing for reorganization, the aim should be that all get paid in full. Furthermore the suppliers would have to stop their claims at the enforcement agency to give Saab some more breathing space. I have no exact knowledge about the Swedish laws but at least here in Germany it would be possible.
Saab would have to present a detailed plan how they think they can get out of this mess and would have to agree on an independent administrator to overview all moves of the company. He has to be a person every party trusts. So the suppliers and the unions can be sure that everything is done in a proper way to make Saab succeed. The administrator may even check the viability of Saabs plans while the whole agreement is negotiated. In the end he is the one who’s judgement everyone has to follow.
Regarding the unions – I’m following Tim’s therory that Saab has the money to pay the wages but can’t do so because they’d have to pay the enforcement agency first. So if the claims from the enforcement agency are out of the picture Saab could pay the wages. It will be the administrator’s job to secure that enough money to pay the employees is set aside every month. The timely payment of the wages is obligatory and if that doesn’t happen the unions may declare bankrupcy at once.
It’s a pretty rough description of the plan but thinking it through several times I found no big issue that would make it totally unrealistic. You may ask why something like that should be possible. Well, just because noone, really noone benefits from bankrupcy in any way. The suppliers may get about zero money and many of them will not be able to survive, the employees get their wages paid but they will loose their jobs. So such a scenario will be worth a try for everyone.
Let’s keep up the hope. Saab is not dead yet. There are still things you can throw a kitchen sink at.