All is quiet, eh?
The only piece of news that matters today is the creditors meeting that’s due to happen in just hours from now. I’ll probably be asleep when it all goes down so I’ll set up a “make your own news” post for any updates that the Swedes can provide.
There has been an article doing the rounds via AFP today, and it sums up the situation quite nicely.
STOCKHOLM (AFP)–Creditors may seal the fate of beleaguered Swedish car maker Saab AB (SAAB-b.SK) Monday when they gather for a court hearing to determine if the group’s legal restructuring process can continue.
Some 1,300 creditors have been summoned to the hearing in the Vaenersborg district court in southwestern Sweden, Swedish news agency TT reports.
Now, as I mentioned over the weekend, the vast majority of Saab’s creditors have already been paid, so the original list of 1,300 creditors has been reduced to a large degree. Furthermore, there’s a huge list of creditors that are due to be paid tomorrow, so they should be quite happy at the moment as well.
There’s still going to be a few, however, and amongst them will be the Swedish government and General Motors themselves.
Back to AFP:
The company’s days could be numbered if any one of them opposes the restructuring process that Saab launched on Feb. 20 to stave off bankruptcy and become an independent unit after it was dumped by its owner U.S. car maker General Motors Corp. (GM).
“If a creditor demands (that the restructuring process be halted), the court has to decide whether to do so,” one of the court’s three judges, Cecilia Tisell, told TT.
The court’s decision would then be based on whether Saab’s survival plan looks realistic.
“We can halt the restructuring process if we find that the aim is not being achieved,” she said.
The thing that worries me is that Swedish government have said all along that they’re not willing to support Saab directly because they don’t believe in Saab’s chances of making a profit. Maud Olofsson has been quite explicit about this, saying things like “if General Motors can’t make them profitable, then how could we be expected to make them profitable” or words to that effect.
So if the government still doesn’t think Saab have a realistic chance, this is their opportunity to say so and effectively wind up the company. I don’t believe that’s going to happen, but I’ve got to recognise the possibility.
A lot will depend on the plans that are presented by Jan-Ake Jonsson and administrator, Guy Lofalk. They’ve been working away for six weeks now, fine tuning Saab’s future and preparing the company for new ownership and I’m quite sure that Jan-Ake would leave no stone unturned.
Should the court find against Saab, the company would either have to declare bankruptcy or find a buyer.
The reorganization is a Swedish legal process headed by an independent administrator appointed by the court who is working with Saab management.
The process allows parts of Saab to survive and could enable suppliers, who would lose all the money owed them by the company if it filed for bankruptcy, to get some money back by agreeing to accept partial repayment.
So, we wait and then wait some more.
April 6, like February 20, could be another red letter day in the modern history of our favourite little car company.
Let’s just hope it’s a good one.