I’ve got to admit I’m a little overwhelmed today. There’s so much going on. Christmas lunch for work, then Canadian family members arriving for a 4-week stay. It’s all happening at once. Combine all that with the usual tension and anticipation, and I’m not sure where to start for today.
So let’s start here.
I mentioned this Bloomberg article by Ola Kinnander yesterday but it seems it was quite an early version of it. It’s since been updated with extra quotes from Victor Muller.
Here are the key points, which pretty much sum up the story from Muller’s point of view, I think.
- GM and Spyker are not the “potential problem for this transaction,”
- winning EIB support before year-end is the biggest obstacle.
- So far, the European Union’s lending arm has sent “neutral signals” on approving the 400 million-euro ($574 million) loan
- “It’s mainly now down to the government agencies,”
OK, now this bit’s important…..
“In October, the EIB approved the Koenigsegg deal, which was exactly the same deal — the same lender, same borrower and the same business plan,” Muller said. “The only thing changed is the shareholder, so they have to do due diligence on that.”
And the rep from the EIB agrees:
EIB Vice President Eva Srejber said that since “this is a change of ownership” then “of course we need to analyze.”
But would not commit on whether it could be done in time.
She declined to comment on whether a decision would be made before the end of the year.
Another official seems to be more optimistic:
Saab is likely to win European Commission approval for the EIB loan, Johnny Kjellstroem, who is negotiating the case with the European Union’s regulatory arm on behalf of the Swedish government….
But what he misses here is whether or not the Swedish government themselves will still offer the guarantees required for the loan. These are essential, too, so the Swedish government must still make up their mind and as mentioned before, this is not without risk for them.
Back to the dot points…..
- “There is very little point in signing an agreement until the time that the governmental agencies have approved the transaction,”
- “Everybody knows exactly what the deadline is. There is no misunderstanding about that,”
We have Victor Muller saying that Spyker and GM are capable of closing this deal, thereby putting pressure on the as-yet unsure EIB. By proxy, this also puts pressure on the Swedish government.
You also have GM’s Ed Whitacre saying that December 31 is the deadline for a decision. Crank up the pressure a little bit more.
No deal will be signed with GM until the EIB has decided on whether Saab can get the loan, Muller said. Spyker is also waiting for the European Commission to decide whether potential Swedish loan guarantees for the EIB funding distorts competition and for the Swedish state to decide whether it will give Saab the guarantees.
Anyone think Joran Hagglund is sleeping well at night right now?