SvD sum up the Saab sale situation

‘Perry’ posted this article from Svenska Dagbladet in comments this morning (well, it’s morning for me) and from my reading, it seems to sum up the situation pretty well.

To sum it up: We’re very close, but stay cautious.

This is still a very big deal, with high-level government involvement and lots of contracts to sort out and sign. The words ‘cautiously optimistic’ seem to be the right ones.


Close to an answer/(clearance?) on Spykers Saab purchase
Published: 24 January 2010, 19.10.
Last Modified: January 24, 2010, 19:24

Saab affair between Spyker Cars and GM are now close, said several people to SvD Näringsliv. Spykers CEO Victor Muller, representatives from GM and the Swedish government has met in Stockholm this weekend. One answer may come on Monday.

Victor Muller, who arrived in Stockholm on Friday, is unusually quiet.

– Probably, a statement tomorrow (read ‘on Monday’, reds. Note.) Regarding a possible business,” he told SvD Business on Sunday. But because the Spyker is listed on the stockmarket, he can not say more than that now that negotiations are in the final stages.

A person with good insight into the process has also been informed that a deal is very close and may be published on Monday or early next week.

According to news agency Bloomberg, Spyker have made a bid of around Bloomberg GM is pleased with the offer. The funding is resolved, said sources of SVT’s Rapport. Spykers CEO Victor Muller will have found a secret financier accepted by GM.

Meanwhile, the two liquidators, that is, the two lawyers entrusted to close Saab, had been ordered not to start work, according to the Svenska Dagbladet Näringsliv.

The government’s chief negotiator Joran Hagglund (C) during the weekend met Victor Muller and representatives from GM.

– They want to be updated on the situation and we have gone through with them what it looks like the handling of negotiations with us and the Debt Office. GM wants to feel comfortable with it moving forward even on that side, “said Joran Hagglund.

Hagglund, who has had good insight int the SAAB sale in the past year, has never sounded particularly hopeful that a deal is to succeed to go through, but rather pointed to the numerous obstacles. But now he seems considerably more confident that a deal is close.

– It has moved forward in a way that allows one to be realistic optimist. With the changes that have occurred in the business case over time so it would be extremely positive if it became a closed deal, he says, but points out that there have been previous situations where many people have thought that everything was ready, but since GM has decided to discontinue .

Even Joran Hagglund has been informed that a decision on a closed business deal can be published on Monday, or early in the week. But he is also critical of the timeframe.

– There is really only GM who can answer exactly when we may know something. We’ve said repeatedly that the date might be something, but then there’s something that makes it not so.

According to Joran Hagglund is the GM representatives who are currently located in Stockholm in favor of the deal. But he stresses that it is GM’s top management, which ultimately should feel comfortable having an affair.

He also says that there is a lot of agreement to be signed between GM and Saab, Spyker, which will keep for many years to come, including how to share technology and intellectual property.

– A general purchase agreement is that which is least problematic, he says.

And once again, the ball seems to have ended up with the government. The EIB loan of EUR 400 million that were on the Koenigsegg Group time is left. But a condition of loan is that it is moving in with government guarantees.

– As we understand Victor Muller thinks that it is very important that the loan is included in Saab’s development, says Joran Hagglund and he assumes that Spyker may EIB loan.

Right now work is under way in parallel with both the EIB, the Debt Office and the European Commission to make assessments of Spykers business arrangement, according to Joran Hagglund.

– You want to see that there are no major changes and that there is a financial strength of Spyker, which makes a loan can be granted.

Debt Office makes the Swedish government’s part to assess that there is adequate collateral to allow them to recommend the government to grant a guarantee.

– So far as we are to decide if we want to give Spyker government guarantee or not.

Would you do that?

– It is part of the work going on right now. And the sooner we know the details of the deal and whether it has influence or not on the presentation, the sooner we can also handle such a request for a government guarantee.

Joran Hagglund admits that the deal right now, once again, largely depends on the government.

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