SvD interview Guy Lofalk

SvD published a short interview with Guy Lofalk on why he wants to terminate reorganization. Here are some googly translated parts that I tried to tidy up a bit using my bit of Swedish. 😉

Why stop?
-Bridge financing of EUR 70 million from the Chinese prospective owners Youngman and Pang Da has not fallen in place as planned. Only small amounts of money have been received. But the deal has since failed to Youngman and Pang Da did not want to go through the holding company Swedish Automobile, but want to invest and become 100 percent owner of Saab Automobile. But there sits the owners of Swedish Automobile receive, says Guy Lofalk.

But according to a press release from Saab’s how it should get money from North Capital?
-I put a deadline at 14 o’clock yesterday, for the parties – that is the prospective buyers Youngman and Pang Da and current owner Swedish Automobile. When it was passed, none of the conditions I set were met. In the case of North Capital was the documentation and guarantees that it will fall due money is totally inadequate for reconstruction to continue. I have not seen any agreement to that effect.

Why do Chinese companies do not invest in the parent company Swedish Automobile?
-They must answer that. They have announced that it is that way.

The last question is the big one. Why do Youngman and Pang Da change their minds? Or is that mostly driven by Youngman? This is at least what I personally feel. They might see a chance to get more for less and as Lofalk showed up without Victor they made an offer… Speculation of course, but at least possible.

On to another interesting aspect:

Sources say that you went behind the backs of Muller. How about that?
-No, absolutely not, he has been aware of what I have done all the time, I went to Beijing early next week.

What did you do in Beijing?
-I had a meeting with the NDRC’s second general manager. There, I explained the precarious situation of Saab’s reorganization and financing of medium and long term. I stressed that the NDRC has to take a quick decision on the matter of granting a foreign investment. The complete meeting was attended by the Swedish Embassy.

To pick up Rune’s statement from comments, even if Victor knew what Lofalk it does not mean that he agreed on it. But what should he do? Lock up Lofalk in the closet? Even if that had been practical Victor could not do it so he turned to his already prepared backup plan: NSC. Don’t think that this contact was established just yesterday, like always Victor had prepared something for a worst case before it happened.

Doctor Donk
Member
4 years 11 months ago

I do not want saab be 100% chinese. I like Muller.

900 classic cab
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

At this point your speculation makes perfect sense to me…
Why so many people are eager to get rid of VM is what I find curious. I SAAB goes 100% chinese I’m not so sure they understand the brand…Volvo in the US isn’t doing that well.

BoeBoe
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Really? Have a look at Volvo’s sales numbers. They are great.

Yes, they did stop selling some models. But the only reason for that was so they could focus more on the other models.

phermansson
Member
4 years 11 months ago

700 million in losses this quarter is not what I call great!

ANA
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Tim
It is all very well criticising Volvo under Chinese ownership but let’s not forget they are making and selling cars unlike Saab under VM’s ownership.

katar1na
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Lock up Lofalk in the closet?

Why not?? 😉

rune
Member
4 years 11 months ago

katar1na, we will add this to the growing list of Victor’s mistakes. 😀

BoeBoe
Member
4 years 11 months ago

It is not that difficult.

Guy Lofalk acted in the best interest of Saab. He wanted to sell the whole company to the Chinese.
Victor Muller acted in the best interest of SWAN, if Lofalk’s plan would succeed there was a big chance that Saab was saved, but the shareholders (and VM) didn’t get any money.

Victor desperately wants to include SWAN in the deal. And Lofalk does not think that ian necessary.
SWAN is only “difficult” and Lofalk just wants to focus on Saab.

rune
Member
4 years 11 months ago
Guy Lofalk acted in the best interest of Saab. Well, that is basically what we are debating. Given the complexity (GM IP rights for one) involved of changing the owner structure of Saab, this seems to be a very difficult route to choose. It would have been easier to consistently push Youngman (and Pang Da) to stick with the original plan that everybody agreed on. Instead Lofalk engaged in a fool’s errand talking with Geely and then return to Youngman demanding they give him money. Lofalk’s approach seems strange to say the least and I fail to see how his… Read more »
Vector-SS
Member
4 years 11 months ago

+1

jond
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Yes, almost certainly correct. VM seems to be trying to play cards that he doesn’t hold and he doesn’t understand that, or more likely is hoping that something will turn up. All the Chinese need to do is to express a very strong interest and wait in order to clear VM and SWAN from the picture.

Actually, I see this all as rather good news. It’s presently a little stressful whilst we’re going through a change of ownership, but that was inevitable and it does suggest that the brand will survive and have an interesting future ahead of it. Great!

nils
Member
4 years 11 months ago
VM and Spykers role when they saved Saab was to provide capital in order to allow Saab to continue as an independent car manufacturer, with the business plan laid out between Saab and Koenigsegg. As the group ran out of cash, this has failed. Personally I do not see VM as an asset to Saab anymore, as he surely has some responsibility for deviating from the original business plan. I would change my mind if VM was able to deliver in terms of getting sufficient investor backing to restart and sustain production. Now if a Chinese group is willing to… Read more »
rune
Member
4 years 11 months ago
as he surely has some responsibility Kind of a weak statement. Yes, of course he carries some (and ultimately most of, if not all) responsibility for the current predicament, but let us not forget that until March this year he still had an experienced CEO in charge. 2010 was not a one-man show. And… I will continue to remind people of this ad nauseum: Do not forget swegov’s inability to approve (or deny) Antonov. Maud refused, on camera, to even consider this question. They conveniently waited for EIB so they would not have to drop the hammer on Antonov (and… Read more »
ANA
Member
4 years 11 months ago

nils
I agree completely.

skwdenyer
Member
4 years 11 months ago

The question nobody seems to have put to GL is this: “do all of the agreements, licences, preference shares and other contracts in place between Saab, SWAN, GM, BMW, American Axle and others allow for Saab to be separated from SWAN and placed in 100% Chinese ownership?”

Some reports suggest that this would not be possible. But I believe GL should be asked this. If his answer is something like “I’m sure they could be resolved” it would imply – to me, at least – that he is just assuming that this will be the case.

Great Otto
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Right from the start of the application for reconstruction I couldn´t understand why they chose this guy again as administrator… And very interesting quote: “The complete meeting was attended by the Swedish Embassy.” No need to say more. Sweden is a nice country with some extremely capable, non-conformative thinking engineering people whith and an extemely agressive burocracy. What burocrats never will understand is, that if nobody is producing anything, they won´t be paid anymore. Obviously they want to lead their country into something like Greece. Just my opinion – and still hoping for the best.

mpprh
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Lofalk was appointed by the court, not by VM, SWAN or Saab Automobile.

He has one objective …. ascertain if Saab Automobile can become a going concern after reconstruction and report his findings to the court.

He must resolve various questions including :

“Is the present proposal feasible ?”
“If not, are there other possibilities ?”
“Are there potential buyers who could enable Saab to survive?”

He is not interested in SWAN or Victor Muller or current Saab management, or promised jam tomorrow

It is not in his brief to make an emotional decision. If he sees no future, he must say so.

Tripod
Member
4 years 11 months ago

But the deal has since failed to Youngman and Pang Da did not want to go through the holding company Swedish Automobile, but want to invest and become 100 percent owner of Saab Automobile. […] says Guy Lofalk.
[…]
Why do Chinese companies do not invest in the parent company Swedish Automobile?
-They must answer that. They have announced that it is that way.

And of course Mr. Lofalk’s meddling, travelling back and forth hasn’t changed anything; they just came up with that idea all by themselves.

Well, that’s his version.

(Couldn’t avoid a small comment, Khris. 😀 )

Khrisdk
Member
4 years 11 months ago

😀

RS
Member
4 years 11 months ago

I’m sure Victor knew GL went to China -to talk to NDRC- but how could he have known what Guy was actually doing there?
Would he had approved GL’s going to Geely to strike a new deal and then go to PangDa and Youngman to kill the existing one after all the hard work. Don’t think so.

mpprh
Member
4 years 11 months ago

GL makes his own decisions.

Nothing to do with VM.

Paul
Member
4 years 11 months ago
According to some folks I know in the car business, Greely is bankrupt. The only reason they were able to take control of Volvo was because of a massive investment from the Chinese government to protect its car industry. I suspect a similar move is going on with the Saab takeover. e.g. Youngman doesn’t have the money, and hence the NDRC is calling the shots. That’s also probably why they want to take over the whole company (protects the government’s investment). The real test for Greely comes 2 years from now when they have to develop off the Ford platforms… Read more »
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