Saab Granted Additional Payments of EIB Loan by Sweden’s NDO

The Swedish National Debt Office guaranteed additional loans for Saab.

The NDO on Thursday granted additional guarantees for EIB loans for Saab. Within two weeks, the company may have more money in their accounts.

Note that this money is part of the EIB loan facility that Saab has been using since restarting operations last year and is used exclusively for special environmental development projects. As Marja Long said, “We are not worried.”

___________________

UPDATE:

In an interview with Dow Jones, according to Victor Muller, there’s no need for additional approvals:

According to Muller, this is nonsense. “I don’t know what they are talking about,” he said, adding Saab can draw up to EUR400 million from the facility without additional approvals. “So far, we’ve drawn EUR260 million from the facility.”

From di.se:

Saab filed on Wednesday night at the Debt Office to receive an additional payment from the European Investment Bank (EIB), reported Göteborgs-Posten newspaper.

Saab has so far received about two billion in loans that the Swedish state is the guarantor for. There are approximately 1.6 billion of the loan.

For each payment required, the National Debt Office clears the state guarantee.

The Debt Office decided to say yes quickly.

“We will grant the application. It is already clear, even if not all documents are signed,” says the Debt Office Communications Marja Long to TT on Thursday.

Has the turmoil of recent days with reports that suppliers were not paid impact your position?
“We are not worried. We have security for the loan of 400 million and this payment is not close to reaching the roof,” said Marja Long.

“The money from the EIB may only be set aside for special development projects and are closely followed up. We must distinguish between long and short of money.”

Typically, the EIB around two weeks before the money paid to the Saab. Exactly how much it moves about in this installment does not want the National Debt Office said.The last payment made in January was 32 million euros (about 285 million dollars), according to Spyker Cars accounts.

 

From gp.se

“They arrived last night in with a request to borrow more money and we have today bevlijat guarantee it,”said Marja Long on National Debt Office.

It’s about additional loans beyond the 217 million euros, which the EIB already paid and the Swedish government provided guarantees.” They’re not disclosing how much.

“But we will not address the maximum amount.”

Overall, Saab under the agreement is allowed to borrow up to 400 million (if they’ve already borrowed 217, they have 183 million euros left).

 

A first step to get more loans under the Debt Office is to accept more guarantees.

“It is paid in shares and as they pick up new projects applying for those on more money. When viewing both we and the Investment Bank on the project and make an assessment. And we guarantee payment so pay Bank the money, “said Long.

Under the loan agreement, the Debt Office handles an application for more loans within three days.

“If we give guarantees the EIB usually takes two weeks to pay out money, but it is possible that they can do it faster. They turn it out and borrow money in the market, “said Marja Long.

 

Saab will not admit to borrowing more money, but describe an application that you only use that 400 million loan has already been agreed on.

“We have not asked for more money… We’re not done with this. We have not asked for more. We have agreed that we will have 400 million. There is a plan behind this, so there is nothing strange about it,” said Eric Geers, spokeswoman for Saab Automobile

Requests for further EIB money comes just months after Saab’s chairman Victor Muller said he contacted the banks to try to resolve the already existing EIB loans, for Saab to be independent of the Swedish state.

“There is an ownership issue, and I can’t comment on it,””said Geers.

What is the project about which you are now requesting loans for?

“I can’t make a comment about the project. It’s something between us and the Debt Office.”

But with the new loan will be after all more money into Saab’s cash?

“Not more money. We have a plan and every quarter we make a drawing of what you expect.”

Right now it seems Saab is having a hard time with their suppliers. Is this an application unrelated to it?

“No, no, no. As we said earlier, we shall agree on payment and delivery terms. As we did with Schenker and now rolls deliveries as usual.

Do you agree with all who had the same problem as Schenker?

“We have a number (of suppliers) which we will are speaking with right now, and there is no reason to believe that there isn’t solution. Production rolls and it is very important,” said Eric Geers.

 

On Tuesday evening, the Debt Office also made a request from the Convers Group to the Russian banker Vladimir Antonov to become part owner of Saab.

Saab Chairman Muller commented Wednesday on the application that “We have made a formal request to allow him (Antonov) to come back.”

The Debt Office confirmed Muller’s comments without commenting on the contents of the letter from Antonov company Convers Group.

 

Marja Long describes, however, how any such application would be handled at the Debt Office:

“Because of (their application) we made the agreement to guarantee loans to the Bank using a variety of legal documents. Among other things, there is a “change of control” clause, which says that any changes in ownership will be reflected by a change in the contract.

And all contract changes must be approved formally by the government.

“So we are looking at the issues that may arise. Then we’ll provide a proposal to the Government, which decides to do as we suggested, or not.”

_______________

As has been said, Saab is making a simple request to access money that has already been granted to them. What is clear is that Saab has a very large portion of the EIB loan left to use even without tapping into additional share issuances or external investments from Vladimir Antonov. There’s a lot of work to be done, and Saab management is working overtime to make sure production rolls along smoothly.

44 thoughts on “Saab Granted Additional Payments of EIB Loan by Sweden’s NDO”

  1. But that is normal money that Saab gets time to time and like the story says and everybody here knows, it can be used only for certain engineering and research programs.

  2. This story about the EIB loan, without the interview of Geers, is run in di.se and e24.se. They make it sound like Saab has requested additional loans over the 400 million they were granted. That is wrong. This is just a planned withdrawal of the already granted loan, that is being payed in installments. Now the media is out hunting for bad news, and this time they describe it in the wrong way! No news here!

    • Agreed. I just wanted it up on the site so that people had an updated number on how much money is left of the original $400 million Euros, the NDO is saying they’ve already requested €217 million so far. It just reinforces that Saab isn’t in as terribly weak a cash position as has been suggested.

      • If they aren’t in a weak cash position why did they stop paying suppliers and logistics companies? especially at a time when they finally were getting good press? all of this good press has been ruined, and it will cost more in advertisements to get it back compared to what it would have cost to pay it in the first place!

        I just don’t get why.

        • Who said they stopped paying them? That’s never been the issue. The issue was that the suppliers felt they should have been getting paid sooner than they were, and were sick of waiting for Saab’s payments to come through. I think that if Saab can resolve all of these issues with suppliers from halting deliveries and slamming them in the press, then by the time the New York Auto show comes around, when all the automotive press (and most importantly the biggest US media outlets like WSJ, USA Today/Gannett, NYtimes, etc.) are watching, Saab can have a strong story to tell about how they have a strong lineup and willing investors.

          I agree that their biggest hurdle is getting the public to trust that they’re going to be around,, something someone with an understanding of corporate finance can plainly see, but to the casual observer on the outside seems a lot less sure.

      • But a release of funds from the EIB loan should not affect Saab’s cash position in terms of day-to-day operation since the EIB money can only be used for certain well-defined projects and not for general operational spending. And the de facto spending of EIB money is very strictly monitored by the Swedish and EIB authorities. Probably even more so given the current situation. Operational expenses must be met from normal cash flow or, if that is not possible, from the company’s liquid capital reserves..

        Ivo

    • di.se made a correction of their article. Now it gives a (very brief) more correct view of the situation

  3. When you post a translated news story from off the web like this, then please also include a link to the source! For those who happen to be fluent in the language, the original is much easier to read than a ghastly googletrans.

    • It’s up there Börjesson, I was posting, translating, and editing as fast as I could, sometimes wordpress takes a minute to get the updates up. We’re going as fast as we can, but you’re usually faster. Also, I’ve been editing the translations as best I can. Accuracy > Speed.

  4. For all negative wrriting,
    are we all forgeting so soon what VM did for Saab? He was in far more serious problem to convince GM not to close Saab but to sell him. Now I can see all kind of mud some are throwing. DO NOT FORGET WITHOUT VM THERE WILL NOT BE SAAB.
    Let gives him some trust and make support and not doom crying. He do not need that we act behind his back we should show him that Saab community is 100% behind him.

    • Totally agree Daniel. The same can be said for VA as well. Anyone who watched the sale of Saab go down will know he was pretty instrumental to getting it done as well as VM. Too question his motives or to say ” I don’t trust him” or anything in that nature would be unfair. I know he is a little loose at the lips, but I think his motives are right and even when he says something that makes you shake your head, you can’t help but respect his honesty. WITHOUT BOTH OF THEM THERE WOULD BE NO SAAB. IMHO

  5. Daniel +1

    We have not had any reason to be anything but thankful and proud of Mr Muller. He came to rescue when most had lost hope – how can anyone be so thick as to think that he´d have anything but Saabs viable long life prosperity on his mind.

    Unfortunate events but nothing more – mountain out of molehill, methinks!!

  6. Although some of the recent setbacks are discouraging, I agree that there seems to have been an overreaction on the site (and obviously, the media). Lets get some more facts.

    Swade, although I absolutely respect you private/family time and need for some privacy, an editorial from you would be very helpful. Your views carry well earned weight and respect around here and could serve as a calming influence. ( By saying this I mean absolutely no disrepect to the new crew – you have all done an amazing job at a challenging time!!)

    • I don’t want to speak for Swade but one thing that I think people need to understand is now that he works for Saab he has to be much more careful about his statements, as they’re a public company and he now speaks on their behalf. The writers here fortunately have some space since we’re completely independent so we get to be a little more free with our opinions, and can editorialize what we’re hearing .

      • What is Swade actually doing at his new job? Has he made any official statements yet? I realize he started his job a few weeks ago, but this would be a good time for a (careful) statement to us Saabnuts.

          • Alex L,

            If you look at some of the threads here, he has made some statements on here and continues to read ours. He maybe as Red J states, doesn’t start until Monday, but he’s been working, moving and packing and pretty soon travelling to his new job. Give him a break.

  7. I want to clear something up here, and I want everybody to reflect on this and spread it on when, in particular the Swedish, press and commenters question the GUARANTIES Saab have left for Riksgälden to get the EIB loan of 400 million euros. These facts have been mentioned, but never really brought forward in a strong and clear way in the press. However they are clearly mentioned in Jonas Fröberg’s book “Kampen om Saab”. Jonas is an business/economics and car industry journalist at Svenska Dagbladet (svd.se) and has been critical of Saab, but I’d say he is one of the more fair ones, and has clearly researched Saab’s background story and the sales process. Anyway, from the book (loosely translated and gathered):

    – – –
    [p.181-182]: KPMG & Ernst & Young made evaluations of Saab. Whichever way they tried the result was barely 1 billion kr (~100 mil euros [very roughly, at the time though]). They needed 4 billion kr (~400mil euros). The (now former) CFO Lars Hägerborg came up with the idea. There is roughly 1 million Saab cars rolling on the streets around the world, and in the need of spare parts and service. They made this into a separate company that Saab could use as a guaranty and which could easily and quickly be sold by Riksgälden/the Swedish state if needed.

    [p. 215]: The factory and tools were put in an own company (valued at ~1 billion kr (100 million euros)) and KPMG valued the spare parts/service company at 5-6 billion kr (~500-600 million euros).
    – – –

    So, all in all the guaranties are, as you have read, 1 billion kr + 5-6 billion kr = 6-7 billion kr, or 100 mil euros + 500-600 million euros = 600-700 million euros). These are the wholly covering (“fullgoda”, as they say in Swedish) guaranties that Saab has given Riksgälden and the Swedish state. I have now tried to comment on this in di.se and perhaps some other places, but the message doesn’t seem to come forth (well, I shouldn’t be surprised I guess). But if anybody has the need to convince some nay-sayer about the guaranties, here are the facts. So PLEASE, spread the message when needed.

    (And as addition (I had the time to reflect while waiting for the commenting function to restore), people seem to answer that the values will reduce if the worst would happen. First of all the values of the guaranties are way above the sum of the loan, and secondly there would be buyers for the estates, tools and people would continue to drive Saabs and need service and spare-parts.)

  8. Perhaps I didn’t apprecite the difficult situation an editorial would place Swade in – so I retract my previous hope for a formal editorial. If he does read this and feels comfortable commenting, I’m sure we would all welcome whatever views and thoughts he has on the current issues at hand.

  9. Maybe I am missing something here, but I can’t imagine that if Saab were in such financial straits, as certain professors, journalists, naysayers and other varied trolls are claiming, that any further EIB loans would issue or whether the State would guarantee such additional loans. Am I wrong? If so, how?

    • No, you are not. As explained in post 23, any repayment obligations by the Swedish state are more than adequately covered by Saab sureties and assets.

      Ivo

  10. The whole EIB-issue may well become academic soon. Apparently, VM is negotiating the re-financing of the EIB loan with a number of banks. Apparently, the sum concerned could be around 500 million euro’s.

    Googletrans of news item by Dutch TV news station RTL-Z, apparently based on an interview VM gave Dow Jones Newswires earlier today:

    Spyker CEO: in talks with banks for large loans

    Spyker Cars is in talks with several banks for a large loan, which will be used to blame the European Investment Bank (EIB) to repay.

    Saab
    This confirms CEO Victor Muller told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday. Spyker closed the loan with the Bank of EUR400 million fall when the company last year the ailing Swedish car manufacturer Saab overtaking General Motors Corp.. (GM). “Our goal is to eventually repay the Bank,” said Muller. “Only then Saab is truly independent.”

    “Around 500 million ‘
    Muller would not say exactly what the amount for the new loan would precisely, but since at least one million EUR400 must be repaid, is an amount of around EUR500 million “obvious”. The talks are still in the early stages, the CEO said.

    Swedish government guarantees
    To the credit of the Bank, the Swedish government guarantees, but he would earlier this week explaining Muller on Friday announced the issuance of shares of Spyker and the sudden departure of CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, Saab. This has fueled speculation that the Swedish government could no longer guarantee to stand for the EIB loan.

    Questions from Swedish government
    But according to Muller, the questions of the Swedish government and the talks on a bank loan “nothing in it”. About the conversation with the Swedes Muller will not be rid of the “constructive expired”.

    Spyker great loss in 2010
    The recent unrest around Spyker Friday that one million one year loss of EUR218 announced Tuesday and the production of Saab was temporarily interrupted by a vendor payment problems, according to Muller makes it “not” harder to get a loan. “The banks do not act on the basis of headlines, but based on diligence,” said the CEO.

    Rate
    Around 14.10 hours the share record 2.9% to EUR4, 27, while the Smallcap down by 0.2%.

    © RTLZ.nl

    end of quote

    Ivo

    • Imho, the only reason to pay off the EIB loan would be to get rid of all the red tape involved when getting installments and probably also the progress reporting on how the money is being spend. We’re in a similar situation with our Department of Energy funded projects. It is very difficult to stick to our well thought through technical driven schedules because it is so extremely difficult to jump through all the hoops that DOE is throwing up before they actually transfer the agreed upon money to our accounts.
      The EIB is essentially a bank directly controlled by the European union, so probably there is enormous amount of administrative overhead to finally get your money. On top of that the Swedish government is guaranteeing the Saab EIB loan, so they will be throwing up their own roadblocks. Victor must have realized that the favorable terms of the EIB loan are not worth the technical delays.
      Our world is run by bean counters

    • I read that on WSJ too–

      Saab’s application for more cash comes as Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller said that the Dutch company was seeking a €500 million bank loan to pay debt it owes the EIB.

      In a telephone interview Thursday, Mr. Muller said he was in talks with a number of banks and that negotiations were at an early stage.

      A loan of €500 million was likely, Mr. Muller said, and he didn’t anticipate any problems securing it. “Banks don’t act on the basis of newspaper headlines, but on the back of due diligence,” he said, referring to articles about the company’s financing.

      According to one media report, Mr. Muller said any banking syndicate would include Conversbank, which is chaired by Russian investor and former Spyker shareholder Vladimir Antonov, whose involvement with in the Dutch car maker was terminated at the insistence of GM as a condition of its sale of Saab to Spyker. Mr. Antonov has previously made a case for getting back into Saab, saying he wants to take a stake of nearly 30% and arguing that the company’s business plan isn’t viable and needs more funding.

      Gerrit, I’m sure they’re doing it for the exact reason you said- very little freedom with the EIB loan.

      Also, VA just tweeted:

      Tired:) but got a lot progress:)

      Good sign. Busy times ahead.

      • It’s not only that you have little freedom but that you are incurring unacceptable technical delays when navigating bean counters maze.
        I have become very cynical about funding agencies and government initiatives over the years. Sure, they have to protect tax payers money, but it is also in their own interest to make the process as difficult as possible. The more complicated it becomes the more administrators are needed for oversight. It’s a self-amplifying system that finally results in the majority of the money going to the bean counters with little left for real progress.

  11. Good old VM saying: “Our goal is to eventually repay the Bank,” “Only then Saab is truly independent.”

    Independent, yes in a way. Except from the new financial muscle behind this. And that is who?

    Real independence is when Saab car buyers finance all of the company!

    • Not really, no business in the world is being financed out of equity alone, or at least shouldn’t be, that’s not the optimum way. Saab needs commercial financing on reasonable terms without too many strings attached.

  12. I love Saab and will forever drive Saab, but I am worried for the people on ANA and other companies who try to sell new Saab cars. After three days with all bad news, swedish people will not buy Saab for the next 6 months. They will wait and see what happen. The year 2011 is lost for Saab in Sweden, but I hope on a very strong 2012. The CARS is great but peole in Sweden can only see Saab Automobile like a weird company. Also workers at Saab in Trollättan comment very bad about Saab Automobile in E24 today. I am very sad to read comments like this from Saab-arbetare etc.

    http://www.e24.se/business/verkstadsindustri/saab-ansoker-om-mer-eib-lan_2715653.e24

  13. I am very disapointed! I love SAAB and I can’t stand to see them spoil this opertunity to create a beautiful company that has a great history. My faith are not gone, I still belive, but when they not pay their supliers the faith and trust from other byers might faid away! They can’t mess with anything right now, everything has to work out smothly. They don’t need this kind of publicity! They have the mony, why not pay? I guess that the new payment system might be one of the reasons but they can’t talk this away. I hope that this not effects sales in other markets than in Sweden…it has been a really big topic this week up here in the north. For Gods sake, let Antonov invest a couple of millions in the company, use the money for marketing and start to rebuilt the company the SAAB-way. Do it with style and with power to blow the competition away 😉

    • Starting a business from zero (which i would call starting after the wind down) with a breakeven mentioned in 2012 isn´t even easy.

      also there are to pair of shoes to pay bills. there is a big difference if you don´t want to pay a bill (reasons could be whatever) or you don´t be able to pay the bill.
      after the 2010 numbers all suppliers went a little bit crazy ( a typical SU reader would know the numbers since jan 2011 and that there would be a loss is no surprise)

      i work in the construction business and it ´s quite normal that bills were not paid for months even from our own clients. that´s business. for example worst in paying bills is my own home country. if you have your own country as client…. you need time to wait for your money. SAAB pays quickly compared…

  14. It’s funny, GM received 57 billion or so in bailout loans from the US government, shuttered dealers and brands and doesn’t receive the same kind of abuse that SAAB does. Sure, GM is in a better situation now, but if they didn’t get the bailout package they got and couldn’t afford to advertise like they do or have the programs they do, do you honestly think they would be doing so well? If Saab needs more money, what’s the harm in that? They are re-starting a company from the ground up and we all seem to be overlooking a lot of the great things they’ve done in a short time. VA and VM will get things done and guess what, there may be some bumps in the road, but unlike GM in the past, I don’t think we can criticize their spending and we need to remember when complaining about lack of advertising and such, that it takes money to run ads and campaigns and maybe VA will bring some money to the table. I’m not happy with the lack of sales, but if we who love brand are so quick to attack the brand, what are we accomplishing when a new potential Saab customer comes to this site?

    • 1+ that´s the point

      and don´t forget the typical SU read want´s everything … more HP , halo cars, more advertising, lower msrp … DO we want SAAB to survive ?

      SAAB has to manage their money very well this time. they can´t make experiments.

      • I don’t disagree at all and I think in fairness, they have managed their money very well and I know some people will probably disagree. I am one of those that would like to see more advertising and I think this could be done if you let an investor in who wants to get things done. You have to remember to that some of the great things already done will start to see a payoff in the next six to twelve months and unless I’m having a mental lapse, Saab wasn’t shooting to be profitable in 2011 were they? That being said, I think they are sticking to their business model/plan and lets not be fooled by opportunistic reporters and I do use the term reporters loosely.

    • Agreed.

      SAAB is a commercial business. We may sit here biting our nails and spitting feathers, offering advice to “the referrees” and “the managers” like parents watching their kids play football, desperate for them to do well, but we can never know the whole picture.

      Cash flow is a big problem, especially in a recession, and many companies are having to drip feed money to suppliers, because that’s how they receive it. It’s a real juggling act. JIT aids cash flow by avoiding big inventories, but has it’s own issues as we have seen this week.

      Let’s keep the products in the public eye!

  15. Why is the Swedish media making a big deal out of this?! The EIB money is Saab’s is it not? I realise the Swedish government has to authorise the payments to Saab as role of guarantor but why does the media have to tie all his in with the current issue Saab has already dealt with?

    As Jason has already pointed out we should look at Saab’s accomplishments over the past year as an indication at what Saab is capable of. I have to admit I am guilty at times of thinking things aren’t happening fast enough. Yes there are bumps in the road to come but Rome wasnt built in a day. I do, however, think SCNA needs to step up to the plate to let Canadians know that Saab is up and running as I have seen no advertising. It doesnt have to be expensive either. Take the new 9-5 and park it on a busy street here in Vancouver on a Saturday afternoon. Judging by the looks I got driving a white 9-5 Aero a few weeks back it could only be a positive step.

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