In an article from ttela.se, we’re hearing that the Swedish Debt Office, Marja Lång
is going to make some sort of announcement today (the government met in some sort of meeting today). Serious efforts are being made to solve short and long term financing. They’re working behind the scenes together with Saab, “lawyers, loan experts, and communication officers.” Lång says, “If Plan A is taking too long to get hear Plan B or Plan C, that’s all I can say.”
Saab wouldn’t comment on the ongoing process but didn’t want to contradict what the National Debt Office said. Assuming that Vladimir Antonov’s entry which the Debt Office estimated will “take weeks” is Plan A, then that means it pertains to external financing. TTELA wrote in yesterday’s Journal of the American Foundation, GEM as Saab and parent company Spyker Cars NV has had contracts with the capital-to-equity, which is mentioned as an option in the financial statements. A small question mark were the conditions for the funds. As for the China Track for new partners or capital TTELA could tell you about yesterday, it seems unlikely that there is something that could be presented tomorrow – even if the agreement Saab came up with the Chinese BAIC during the crisis in 2009 which concerned the sale of the old 9 -5-tool went very quickly.
Automotive Component Group CEO Svenåke Berglie stated that this is between five and ten vendors who made their views known to him about problems, but that he did not know if there are more, and says that it’ll be about more than 30 million.
Di.se expands on the possibilities that may come today. Basically, they’re saying that Saab is trying to release some of the collateral pledged against state-guaranteed loans (€400 million Swedish-guaranteed EIB loan) to meet unpaid supplier bills and return to production ASAP– Saab would use the collateral for new loans to cover its liquidity needs. The value of the collateral pledged is well above the amount of the EIB loan, so releasing some of it right away would allow them to take out new loans and pump money into Saab’s coffers in order to pay off the suppliers who are demanding shorter repayment terms. Basically, Saab is just trying to take the fastest route to liquidity they can take and then continue working behind the scenes to figure out the best financing terms. Their priority is getting production back up and eliminating this mess. More articles and translations after the break.
Saab Automobile has two possible solutions to their limited financial capacity, Dagens Industry on Friday.
One option for Saab is that the government and the Debt Office is releasing a portion of the collateral for the EIB loan. Then the automaker to take up new loans to paysuppliers and jump start production again.
“The Debt Office has secured its guarantee to the EIB loan and should really release some of the mortgage limits for Saab,” said Peter Hall, the president of Saab dealers group, to Dagens Industri.
According to the newspaper requires more and more suppliers get paid for accruedliabilities before deliveries resume.
The second option is to access capital from outside investors. DI writes that President Victor Muller will discuss this with two industrial companies.
According to newspaper sources, General Motors, which owns preferred shares in Saab, decided to no longer block Vladimir Antonov as the owner of Saab.
“The question is no longer available for GM,” said Lars Carlstrom, who works for Vladimir Antonov, told the newspaper.
Again from the ttela.se article, they expand on what Saab will do going forward to be more transparent. It looks like Saab has done the hard and honest work which so many of us have called upon them to do: update the business plan.
- Update the business plan for 2012-2017
- Use kronor as a denomination to avoid currency fluctuations to avoid confusion with suppliers
- In addition to the Phoenix, they want to strongly investigate developing a small car (we knew this, but the language is suspect, develop their own or build on someone else’s platform?)
- Some details are still classified (the company’s cash situation, for good reason).
The Debt Office’s latest report on the Saab, which was delivered at the end of February and part of which is public, it appears that last year was a “challenge” for Saab and pointed out that the known fact that it was difficult to start up production again and then restore customer confidence. Furthermore, introduces the Saab’s budget for 2011 and the revised business plan for the years 2012-2017. The old business plan, the GM-term, denominated in dollars, which made it tricky for Swedish manufacturers in view of currency fluctuations. The new one is expressed in kronor. And among the things mentioned in addition to developing the new Phoenix-architecture for future models is that “the possibility of developing a small car, seriously (should) be evaluated.” Several projects are also classified – like the whole chapter on the company’s cash situation.
We certainly don’t want to get ahead of the situation, but it helps put into perspective what’s going on behind the scenes. There are a lot of moving parts. You have the legal team which has to coordinate with the NDO, you have Saab’s PR department which has to get the story exactly straight before they come out with any official statements lest they wreck the company through misinformation. All the while they’re trying to access capital that’s already been set aside for them but needs to be used as an immediate cash injection. Then you have Spyker accountants trying to figure out short vs. long term debt obligations, working out different scenarios based on when and how Vladimir Antonov can come back into the picture, whether or not they have to draw against GEM’s line of credit (which they won’t do if they don’t have to). I repeat, this executive team deserves every single penny they’re getting– if you resent them and you’re Swedish, I want you to step back, take a deep breath, and imagine yourself in your shoes…and then imagine not getting paid for all these sleepless nights to save an industrial company that is an important piece of Sweden.
An encouraging behind the scenes tidbit in comments from StefanH STHLM: