Rumors in chinese media

December 22, 2011 in News

Lots of rumors floating around in the chinese that the Phoenix has been sold to Youngman, we have received confirmation from trusted sources that this is NOT the truth…

Work is currently in progress on the sales process of Saab and the administrators are reported to be interested in selling Saab as a complete package.

58 responses to Rumors in chinese media

  1. YM have for sure a part of Phoenix due all cash they have spent in old Saab. Don’t be stupid with the Chinese they know how to do business:)

  2. Who knows, maybe it’s because of their investments in Saab so far, as a trade for not getting their money back?

    • Could be something in a safe somewhere meet YM?

    • In that case, all the suppliers could form a consortium and buy the phoenix platform with money due to them. Actually that would be better because they would all have a vested interest in making sure production and logistics stayed intact.

  3. There’s an interesting conversation going on over at Saabnet about who should buy Saab… BMW, Kia, Subaru, etc.
    Saabnet discussion

  4. I knew it!!
    Left Lane News article isn’t true as I suspected!!!

    Thanks for the update.

  5. First,
    do not trust Chinese media. On Monday they did report that Rachel Pang already had the Phoenix platform.

    I don’t think that Youngman would be able to build good cars based on phoenix without the help of Saab engineering.

    either YM buys Saab as a whole or the money would be wasted, and as far as we know Youngman is trying to go the more intelligent way and buy the Saab company as a whole.

  6. Another rumors: Skoda want to buy the plant

  7. Another rumor: Durex wants to convert Saab into a condom factory… probably not true either… 😉 lets stop with the rumors!

  8. Thanks for addressing leftlane’s artical, I’ve been waiting on SU for the real story since I read their’s this morning.

  9. Wouldn’t they at least have a non-exclusive right to Phoenix as a result of the collateralized 70mil Euro loan (and the bankruptcy)?
    There were also Saabs United articles on this.

    • … but I know they couldn’t do anything with it without Saab’s help.

      • They don’t have a licence for the whole platform, but only for parts of the platform. They can’t do anything from those parts, and even less without Saab engineers.

        • Their Lotus engineers might be able to do some good with the technology?

        • Agree with Red J; pats os a good platform is not yet the basis for a good car.
          Let us wait and see but one thing is sure; after this bankruptcy here is much more chance the Griffin will rise again.

  10. If there is more than one bid for buying everything (except GM IP), does anyone know if the administrator must choose the buyer who pays the largest amount of money (=more money for paying old debts) or can they choose the buyer that they think is the best choice for Saab, for all Saab enployees and for securung long term future car production in Trollhättan?

    • I don’t know a thing about Swedish bankruptcy law. But I would imagine the administrator/trustee would have some leeway in choosing the offer which **maximizes repayment of the creditors** (not preserve the business or protect jobs). Perhaps Swedish law permits social considerations of this sort, it would be nice if it did. But I’m skeptical.

      Some of this will depend on what the creditors themselves prefer. And the details of the offers may vary considerably from what the headline version might suggest. A 100 million euro offer sounds great on paper, until you read the fine print and realize that 90 million is paid out over 10 years, as an example.

      My wild-ass guess is that if Youngman can write a check for 100-200 million euro, Saab is theirs. For that amount, they get Saab free and clear, with no EIB loan, Swedish government, or GM red tape to muck up the works. The downside, of course, is they don’t get the GM licensing and can’t make the 9-5 and 9-4x, and maybe the 9-3.

      The nasty part is this — if Saab can continue to make and sell the 9-3 until the PhoeniX comes out, it might well be worth 100-200 million euros. But that depends on GM’s willingness to negotiate, which as we’ve seen, is not something on which Saab can rely. And GM may well decide not to negotiate until after someone buys Saab out of the bankruptcy estate.

      Perhaps Youngman can negotiate a two-tier price structure with the administrator – one price if YM/Saab can get a license for 9-3 production, and one price (a lot lower) if it cannot.

      Very complicated negotiations are still necessary to get a potential solution done, although the bankruptcy does clarify things.

      (Perhaps the administrator can threaten GM with a breach of contract claim as leverage, BTW — breaching the license and supply contract based on an allegation of “de facto” change of control in response to a loan from Youngman is an incredibly weak justification, legally, for what GM did at the end. Plus there are a whole host of other possible claims, fraud, promissory estoppel, etc. I hope the administrator can pursue these claims against GM in the bankruptcy – in the US that would be possible).

      • Re; Perhaps the administrator can threaten GM

        GL did this, with little success

        • That was before GM breached the contract by claiming there would a “de facto” change of control. That gives the administrator legal leverage than GL did not have. (Plus GL’s threats were clumsy and stupid – at least from what I have read).

        • Also, GL’s job was to convince GM to keep selling parts to the reorganized Saab. Now that GM has cut Saab off, threats of litigation are more rational.

    • The creditors must choose the applicant who can provide the most favorable solution for the employees, the city of trollhättan, the customers and the future prospects of the company… its up to them to chose. But a bankruptcy this size and as complex as this has never happened in Sweden before so its new territory for everyone…

      But clearly youngman has a lead on everyone else because they’ve been working so long with Saab…

      • Re; But a bankruptcy this size and as complex as this has never happened in Sweden before

        Eh, It did………..Saab [2009]

      • No, I don’t think so, Tim. The proceeds of the sale of the assets of the company are distributed to the stakeholders in a set order. If the Receiver were to take into account judgements of the type you are suggesting then what you are implying is that the Receiver would be prepared to accept a lower than best offer. That would mean stakeholders down the list would receive less than they otherwise would, i.e. the Receiver’s decision would cost them money. Why should they do that? They might then choose to sue the Receiver for their losses. He/she must accept the highest bid. If that happens to be from a manufacturer of chocolate biscuits (unlikely) then that is what the Saab assets will be used for.

        • I snuck in to a union information meeting two days ago, and just as I suspected they didn’t have any information that I hadn’t already googled up. Save for one thing: they did say that while the bankruptcy administrators’ job is to sell as many of Saab’s assets for as much as they can possibly get, to lessen the blow on the creditors, they DON’T have to pick the highest bidder. If there are two entities bidding, one bid slightly higher than the other, and the lower bidder promises to keep operations going in Sweden while the other just wants to move the assets abroad or sell them on, the administrators may choose the lower bidder.
          I’m sure there are rules and regulations dictating how large this choosing space may be. We’ll just have to wait and see, but at least don’t take it for granted that the assets won’t be sold to Youngman just because their bid is a dollar less than someone else’s.

      • The creditors will chose the solution that provides the best outcome for them, either short term or long term.

        Ie how many cents on the dollar do they get back selling it as a going concern, versus it’s breakup value. I suspect the break up value is higher.

        It’s nothing to do with a favorable solution for the employees or trollhattan.

        • That’s what makes indeed this situation so different then before.
          Hope the right party, with the right intentions, will be the winner of this all so that Saab can appear again.

        • The creditors don’t get to pick. It’s all in the hands of the bankruptcy administrators. All the creditors can do is wait for the outcome and see if they will be (partially) reimbursed or left out.

  11. If all else fails, maybe these guys want in. This is a known byproduct of Saab.

  12. Does the aircraft company actually licence the name Saab to the car company?
    Can the name Saab be part of a separate transaction?
    Could the aircraft company actually buy Saab cars out of bankruptcy and then relicence the name and production to someone else?

    • SAAB AB which owns the aircraft division owns the name and has been willing to license it again to a good owner.

      SAAB AB will not buy Saab Automobile, they are not as far as we know interested in that part…

  13. So let me just talk about Magna again for a moment. Why do some feel they would be a bad fit? Is it because they already have a plant in Austria? Certainly Sweden has to be cost competitive with Austria, no???

    • Does anyone know if Magna would try to keep the Saab brand and THN-plant? In case of purchase that is…

      • Ok, I’m going at this as the armchair quarterback, which I really don’t care to do. That being said, imagine GM not letting a new Saab entity with Chinese structure, participate in any licensing. Hence no 9-3, 9-5. And no 9-4 of course. The Phoenix would slightly resemble Swiss cheese on paper. No parts for any of the aforementioned vehicles either, i.e powertrain on down the line. Magna could fill this void. Maybe Magna would be looked at as more of a “supplier” than a manufacturer of the car itself. A novel approach maybe?

        • Magna has expressed interest in becoming an actual manufacturer. They almost bought Opel before GM decided to yank it out from under them. If I remember correctly, Angela Merkel was pissed!

          • Right you are. That brings another angle to this whole current affair. Youngman and Magna have both been scorned by GM. The two of them together might be a contender against Gorilla Motors. Enough of the armchair QB for me. I just want to see cars coming out of the factory.

  14. There seems to have been some confusion about the different rights to the Phoenix platform. It has been expressed in different comments on the net trough the months, quite frequently, and one journalist also asked VM at the press conference (The journalist seemed to think that they sold the platform to another company, sometimes it seems to be difficult to read just a few sentences in a press release.).

    As far as I know, Saab Automobile signed an agreement with a SPV about non-exclusive rights to the Phoenix platform, a license to use was to be bought by Youngman from this SPV, they signed an agreement as well, and it was supposed to be part of the original 70 MEUR bridge financing presented 12 September.

    (I think VM commented that there had been different kind of troubles with moving funds from China and that that was one reason for using this SPV in the transaction, but I can have understood it wrong; some, here or elsewhere, thought it was some “grey business”. Don’t think so. These entities, SPVs, are often are used for limited special purposes, to limit damage etc.)

    Anyhow, as most people should be able to conclude just by reading the press release at the time it was about non-exclusive rights, thus someone else should still have the exclusive rights, and that one is Saab Automobile AB.

    As we know from GL’s call for an end of reconstruction, 20 October, and other comments, very little of this bridge financing came, around 10 MUSD I think. But there have also been several other transactions, as we know. And it was unclear, to me at least at the time, if the transaction of the license was completed. But it seems like it has been, but for parts of the platform.

    VM briefly explained this to the journalists at the press conference that Youngman had in fact bought (from the SPV), thus it seems like some transaction is considered to have taken place, a license to use individual “chunks” of the platform.

    That can also explain the delayed bridge financing, if all wasn’t paid, then there will not be non-exclusive rights to the whole platform, but parts of it.

    As mentioned the rights are still in Saab Automobile. And even if it is, as has been mentioned somewhere, that they have sent funds of in total, over time, 500 MSEK that is still less than 70 MEUR (around 630 MSEK). And that was for a license to use.

    Saab Automobile signed an agreement about non-exclusive rights; the SPV can’t sell something more. It should have been obvious to all from the press release months ago.

    If someone wants everything in the platform now, and I don’t think they are going to start selling complete licenses as was intended above 12 Sep, then they will have to buy Saab Automobile.

    In any case, a less experienced car manufacturer, whoever it may be, need all the help it can get from the employees at Saab to get the development going in the right direction.

    Finally, it seems like there are several parties interested. Negotiations can change a lot, but if what has been mentioned earlier is still true, then perhaps owners of 9-5 and 9-4x would hope for someone else, such as Magna.

  15. Just sent a note to a relative who used to be a board member of one of the Japanese car manufactures to ask why they cannot buy Saab. Wishful thinking but it is free to ask!

  16. Yes Youngman has a lead and a damn good one too if they have supposedly spent 500 million SEK on Saab so far. That’s over 72 million USD folks. They have paid the right to be heard and dont have to push on doors to hard at this point. But i bet they will if hey get a raw deal. I can imagine Victor must be wringing his hands and trying to be as polite and sweet as possible with YM. Hope there are some good places to get Dim Sum in Sweeden.

  17. If YM will gets the whole pakace, one good thing in it could be that a part of “fighting spirt” stays with. I mean compared to vultures who have waited for bankruptcy. I´m okay with them too if keep the factory running and Saabs are coming. I think YM has become more and more saabish during their fight in order to get the company. Employees start to believe in them. At least I believe in them now. And with YM, might there be a role for Victor too in the company? I would so much like to see Him to be somehow involved.

  18. If we read all these comments we can imagine how difficult it must be for the administrators to look at the options presented to them.
    So I hope Tim is right in what he writes in in this news; “and the administrators are reported to be interested in selling Saab as a complete package”.
    Only so we can see our beloved brand on the roads again.
    If it starts to be sold in parts and pieces we can forget about that.

  19. Interesting comment in Chinese press – anybody agree with the writer`s view?

    With Saab’s demise, Chinese have lost their chance to buy more global brands
    Yang Jian | 2011/12/23

    SHANGHAI — Now that Saab Automobile is dead, the opportunity for Chinese automakers to acquire another global brand is just about gone.

    That’s a very big deal for China’s domestic automakers, which are struggling to compete because of their weak brands and weak technology.

    Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. lost their bid to acquire the Swedish automaker after General Motors — Saab’s former owner — blocked the deal.

    This week, Saab was declared bankrupt by a Swedish court.

    With Saab soon to close, are there any other global auto brands up for grabs? Opel could be one, some observers might say.

    Opel, which GM nearly sold in 2009, is bleeding money once again. Europe’s deep economic woes will make it hard for Opel to regain profitability any time soon.

    Rumors that GM may sell Opel have circulated for quite a while. But will GM actually sell it to a Chinese company? No, it won’t.

    Buick is GM’s strongest brand in China, which soon will become the automaker’s biggest global market.

    Opel cars, like Saab vehicles, share technology with some Buick models. So GM would rather kill Opel — just as it did with Saab — than allow a Chinese suitor to buy it.

    In retrospect, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group president Li Shufu was lucky to pluck Volvo from Ford Motor Co.

    But that was in the middle of the global recession in 2009, when everybody feared the auto industry would collapse.

    After a flurry of government rescues, global automakers like GM and Chrysler are back on a relatively solid footing.

    These days, nearly all second-tier international brands are either owned by or share technology with major global automakers.

    Moreover, just about every major global automaker has a presence in China. None of them would risk jeopardizing their operations by allowing a domestic Chinese company to acquire an international brand that they share technology with.

    That’s why GM denied Youngman the chance to own Saab. And that’s why Chinese companies are unlikely to acquire another global brand.

    Pictured: Yang Jian is managing editor ofAutomotive News China.

    Related Stories
    Youngman says it has obtained Saab’s Phoenix architecture and plans to develop new models

  20. If one of the big European groups should enter the race, forget about Youngman. They would be gone, probably would be paid out.

  21. Realistically, it’s difficult to see where this european investment could come from. BMW had a deal to supply SAAB with their 1.6 petrol engine, so whether they would like to take their involvement any deeper, who knows? However, BMW would not want to make SAAB cars, because these would be competing against each other. I think we may see Indian manufacturers entering the ring, and this could sit easier with GM.

  22. When is the Administration going to announce the players who are interested?