on Saab’s EIB loan

There are several different news reports and theories going around at the moment about the EIB loan process. Doubt was cast (once again) last night when thoughts emerged that the European Commission could hold up the process by a couple of months while it determines if Saab’s loans are within it’s “no assistance” guidelines. has an article about this, with thanks to JV for the translation:
Guarantees for Saab loan might take some time
The decision by the European Commission whether Saab will have state guarantees to borrow four billion SEK might take into next year. But EIBs Board of Directors will process the loan itself on Wednesday.
Saab Automobile and the designated byuer Koenigsegg Group was hoping to get all the pieces of the puzzle together by the turn of the month October – November. But now yet another deadline is passed without clarification.
Admittedly, it does seem like the European Investment Bank will grant the loan on Wednesday. According to TT the EIB is in principle ready with the review of Saab’s loan application and will raise the question during next weeks Board of Directors’ meeting the 21st of October.
It indicates that the bank’s expertise and clercs judge that Saab fulfills the requirements to get the loan granted. Saab must show that the company has a long-term survivability and that the environmental and safety related projects that the loan will fund, follows the rules.
But this is just a step on the way. The Swedish Government must guarantee the loan and the European Commission must approve that the state gives this aid.
No definite timeplan
So now the company has the opportunity to prove the longterm survivability, at the same time as the sales of cars, according to the latest sales statistics, continues to fall.
Bengt Wennerstein, Senior Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication, explains that the process of getting a reply on the so called “notification” to the European Commission just started.
But there is no definite timeplan and different wagers about how it will turn out, depending on how optimistic you are.
– It’s an expression for the somewhat floating insecurity regarding exactly how long such a process will take in the commission, says Bengt Wennerstein. What the commission says, is that it will take two months after they have recieved the information they need. This is what they need for their internal process.
So far the EIB and the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication has had two contacts.
– We where in Brussels this Tuesday, says Bengt Wennerstein.
He explains that they are using Volvos EIB application as a sort of template. That process took four months.
The commission has for Saab’s part recieved information from the Swedish National Debt Office with details of the guarantees and the market conditions of the loan requirements. Additionally, the independent consulting company KPMG’s review of Saab’s business plan is included.
– We have a dialogue with the commission and will, with returning mail, supply them with the additional information they require, says Wennerstein.
A certain amount of disappointment
At Saab you can trace a certain amount of disappointment, even though the Director of Communications Eric Geers keep his face.
– We’re working toward the goal we have, to be ready by the end of October, he says.
Eric Geers don’t want to answer on how long Saab’s money will last, but he says: – We’re working with several different scenarios.
GP yesterday tried to reach Christian von Koenigsegg, VP for the Saab buyer Koenigsegg Group, but Halldora von Koenigsegg, PR Manager, explained that he was in South Africa and could not be reached.
I just really don’t understand why this is going to take so long.
The plan’s been stress tested. The government has (finally) recommended the plan proceed and the EIB is poised to grant the loans.
This EU crap should be a rubber freaking stamp, not the be-all and end-all of the situation.
If Saab have to rely on the Industry Ministry having dialog with anyone then they may as well pack up now. It seems to me that mob would have a hard time organising a horizontal folk dance in a house of ill repute.
Government apologists, please refrain. You’ll not get an easy hearing today.

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