News outlets in Sweden are reporting that Saab filing for formal reoganisation is ‘imminent’.
Saab have convened an extraordinary board meeting, due to start as I’m typing this, where the decision will be made.
From The Local:
The board of Swedish automaker Saab is expected to make a decision about whether or not to seek bankruptcy protection during a special meeting of the company’s board on Thursday…..
…..The news comes from anonymous sources within Saab, according to several Swedish media outlets.
The secret sources might be talking, but no-one else is:
…..Saab Automobile spokesperson Eric Geers declined to confirm the reports.
“We can’t comment on that,” he told the TT news agency.
Speaking to Sveriges Radio (SR), Saab chief executive also Jan-Aake Jonsson refused to confirm the information.
“I don’t want to speculate on the different alternatives that Saab has when it comes to running our operations going forward,” he told SR.
The news should be forthcoming shortly.
In other news, Aftonbladet have a story stating that the Swedish government offered to back loans to the European Investment Bank late in 2008, but the offer was knocked back by GM.
From a translation of the article:
General Motors had the chance to save Saab.
Aftonbladet can today reveal that Maud Olofsson had taken all the contacts and prepared the European Investment Bank for a fast deal in early December. But GM refused the offer.
– GM has absolutely not been interested in saving Saab, says a well-informed source.
Four years ago, General Motors chief Fritz Henderson said about Saab:
– This is an extremely important brand.
But Aftonbladet can reveal how GM ignored Saab Sweden – and the Swedish government.
In late autumn, the Maud Olofsson and her State Secretary Jöran Hägglund discussions with GM’s European chief Carl-Peter Forster. Maud Olofsson offered GM governmental loan guarantees if they turned to the European Investment Bank (EIB).
But GM chief interest was cool.
– It takes so long to get loans from the EIB, was his reply.
But Olofsson was not satisfied with that so in early December, she contacted the EIB and asked if thay could fast-acting GM’s potential application. The answer was positive.
But when contacted GM to talk about it there was a lot of excuses.
– There was no interest and they were delaying and slowing down the situation, “says a source to Aftonbladet.
Around christmas the Swedish government contacted external consultants to review the figures for GM and Saab of Sweden.
– They just jiggle the head. There was no reality in the figures, says a source.
Council from the consultants was crystal clear:
– Release the Saab.
The sources Reuters spoke to is critical to GM’s actions.
– GM has played a huge ugly games against the Swedish government, says a source.
– GM was not at all interested in saving Saab. And they have completely bypassing Saab Sweden.
Olofsson’s press secretary Frank Nilsson can confirm that in December they had worked hard to finish al preparations for GM with the EIB.
– We have been in contact with the Bank both to speed up any application by GM and that there is room to get loans, “says Nilsson.
Thanks Ken H and Johan!
Other tidbits from today:
Saab have released a report stating that if they go under, it is likely to cost the Swedish government in the order of 4.5Billion SEK per year.
Dagens Industri estimate that whilst Saab employ around 4,500 people, there are up to 30,000 that would affected by the loss of Saab.
Many of those jobs are associated with Saab suppliers. Many of these suppliers would possibly have to apply for corporate reorganisation themselves in order to survive Saab’s restructuring.