Press Release: Saab Global.

Discussions About Sale Of Property Saab Automobile Ongoing

Trollhättan, Sweden: Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) announces that the intended sale of Saab Automobile Property AB (Saab Property) is still uncertain and subject to the fulfilment of a number of additional conditions imposed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile), General Motors (GM), the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) and the Swedish Ministries of Finance and Enterprise.

It is not yet certain whether the above parties will be able to fulfil all of the conditions of the EIB and finalize the sale of Saab Property within a short time frame. The shares in Saab Property are currently pledged to the NDO (not the EIB) as collateral for the Swedish State guarantee NDO has given to the EIB on the day Spyker acquired Saab Automobile from GM in 2010. With a release by the NDO of its pledge in the shares of Saab Property, the guarantee of the NDO in favour of the EIB will be reduced by EUR 120 million. As a result, Saab Automobile will not be able to draw more than EUR 280 million under the existing EIB loan of which currently EUR 217 million have been drawn.

After the NDO confirmed last week that it intends to release its pledge in the shares of Saab Property, since Saab Automobile fulfilled all conditions, the EIB informed Saab Automobile last Thursday that it will only give its consent to the sale of Saab Property if certain additional conditions are met. The conditions relate – amongst others – to the obligation of Saab Automobile to refinance the sale of Saab Property or replace the purchaser within a limited period of time. Further, the consent to the transaction by the EIB would relate to a partial sale of Saab Property only. In addition, the EIB is requesting further clarification and confirmations from the NDO, the Swedish government, GM and Saab Automobile. Saab Automobile is working with all parties involved on a solution to complete the sale of the property and will have further talks with the EIB today in an attempt to reach agreement on the additional conditions set by the EIB.

Spyker and Saab Automobile continue to work on securing additional funding. To that end Spyker and Saab Automobile are negotiating equity and debt financing and/or technology licensing with various strategic partners, including various Chinese car manufacturers. No commitments have been received to date.

Finally, Mr. Vladimir Antonov awaits the approval from the NDO and the EIB to be allowed to act as a financier of Saab Automobile and to become a shareholder of Spyker.

84 thoughts on “Press Release: Saab Global.”

    • No need to be so pessimistic, we will now when its ower.
      During the morning Mr Antonov have been quoted in swedich press like ” we will make it” and ” I will never give upp”

    • The only end I see right now is an end to passive PR policy. Nice to see these press releases – they are good means of damage control. Hopefully VM’s speech at NY Autoshow was a turnig point. Though the news may not be decidedly good (yet), they still help filling the void that would otherwise be filled by sensationalic journalists spreading panic (as was the case before) and causing additional damage.

      Hope for some really good news very soon.

  1. It might just be the sort of careful statement they need to make as a listed company.
    Keep calm and buy a Saab. There has never been a better time.

  2. Saab has a very exciting potential future – but needs a lot of cash to get anywhere near this potential. With New 9-3 maybe 18months away whats going to be needed in terms of improvements in current salesrates? Concerned….

  3. I also think that:

    …is still uncertain ….
    It is not yet certain whether….

    is because they are a listed company, so they can’t speculate on the results of the talks.

  4. This is weird:

    “the obligation of Saab Automobile to refinance the sale of Saab Property or replace the purchaser within a limited period of time.”

    Does this mean that if Antonov buys the property he had to sell it in a limited period of time?

  5. And this?

    “Further, the consent to the transaction by the EIB would relate to a partial sale of Saab Property only”

    Does this mean that only a (small?) part of the property will be sold? So the revenue will be less than 100 million???

  6. “Hi, I have been reading SU for a while now. Today I registered.”

    This press release still says nothing about what is really going to happen.
    I do not really understand why officials makes it difficult (seems to me) for Antonov to get in Saab the way he wants.
    Every delay, every day with no car produced, every day of halted assemly line will make it more difficult and more expensive to resume and carry on. If they will hesitate and wait and wait for right move it might be all too late for any moves.
    It almost looks like they want to see Saab dead.
    I do not.
    I hope I will be able to buy new 9-5Combi at the dealership in late summer.

  7. It might be a bit worse for Saab than we expected 2 weeks ago but remember…

    Nulla tenaci invia est via

    Victor and Vladimir have both the spirit and the money. We will get through this.

    • Oh

      The EIB is by no means popular or regarded as competent by NGO and other organisations that are critical to EU bureaucracy.
      But it doesn’t really matter in this case.
      They are the ones with the power to say Yes or No, no matter what our views of them are

      • I suppose you are right. But what really bugs me is that the EIB somehow has the final say-so concerning the collateral pledged by Saab even if they aren’t at all the party running the risk in case of Saab reneging on their payment obligations. The EIB’s money is 100% safe because its repayment is guaranteed by the Swedish state. The collateral is not pledged to the EIB but to the Swedish state and the latter has already agreed to release the collateral (i.e. Saab Property AB) for the VA sale-and-lease-back deal. The deal also has received the approval of the largest stake- and shareholder in Saab, which is General Motors.

        So, when all is said and done, the ones running the risk aren’tt the ones with the final word on the matter? And the one that doesn’t run any risk at all (unless Sweden goes bankrupt…) does? Strange, and rather illogical as well, don’t you think?

        Ivo

      • To put it even shorter: if Saab folds, Sweden stands to loose 400 million euro’s plus interest, GM something to the tune of 330 million plus interest and the EIB stands to looose….nothing. And still the EIB is the one to decide what should happen and is entitled to table unrealistic conditions to say yes to keeping Saab alive and so perhaps force Sweden and GM to have to write off enormous sums of money? WTF?

        ????

        Ivo

        • Yes.
          And that is probably what the Swedish Media will start asking if Saab should fail.
          And the material against EIB makes the allegations against VA look like kindergarten stuff.
          But that’s another story

          • Neo-liberal governments tend to believe that commercial enterprises shouldn’t be kept afloat using communal funds. If a company cannot survive on its own merits, it should go bankrupt. Which is, of course, sound thinking in general if you discount the possible consequences in this specific case.

            It may, however, somewhat alter their thinking once they realize that a bankruptcy of Saab may well result in the disappearance of the complete car-related industry from Sweden. It’s like a chain reaction: Saab folds, most of its suppliers fold, Volvo can no longer choose from more than a few suppliers and so cannot achieve competitive purchase pricing, Volvo gets moved from Sweden to a low-labor cost country, Sweden has no car manufacturing any more. Just like it happened with the shipbuilding industry some years ago.

            Which, of course, would cause another political upheaval in Sweden and relegate the current powers-that-be to (near-)extinction. But that would, of course, not bring that sector of industry back, once it’s gone it’s gone forever. So, maybe this time around they will think a bit harder before they say no.

            Ivo

        • In that case…

          Why can’t the Swedish government assume EIB’s role? I.e. lend money to Saab so they can pay off EIB.

          Problem solved, and the risks involved are identical (for the government). Except they gain more control and get rid of a maverick bank.

          • @Boe
            But the European Governments acted as banks for the banks on the latest financial crisis, at least in good old Germany.

          • The circumstances, as I see them, do not leave the government with much wiggle room. They have known about Antonov for a long time now. Either let the man invest in the company, or assume full control over the EIB loan (i.e. pay off EIB and continue the deal negotiated last week).

            Neither option should require much thought — the alternative is much, much worse.

            Of course the government isn’t a bank, but… By denying Antonov ownership, they have put themselves in the driver’s seat and now the engine is overrevving and they must change gears before it blows.

        • At the moment Saab has only drawn 217 million from the 400 million. So if Saab goes bankrupt they only have to payback 217 million and not 400 million.

          And the Swedish Government has collateral worth 400+ million. So the Swedish Government won’t loose a dime.

  8. I believe with all my heart they will pull through this. There are just too many people that want to see SAAB succeed and have the money to see that it does. The Chinese no doubt are going to be a big support for us here and I think they can see that SAAB is better alive than dead as the technical expertise is one of the main things they need right now and with SAAB dead they do not have access to this expertise as the people that make SAAB SAAB will have dispersed.

    With VM and VA’s business acumen and money to back it up I really don’t see how SAAB can fail anytime soon. Sure they may not get the judgment they want right now but they will find a way around it.

    The process here is of course no fun but with dedicated people it will happen and we will be moving again and quickly forget about this mess.

  9. VM and VA do know each other since long.
    They also do trust each other.
    What better financial support could you get from a bank you know the owner from?
    GM did not want to accept VA because they did mistrust someone from Russia.
    Now it is the EIB that is asking more questions about VA.
    Is it not most important that EIB get their money back at the end?
    That however is only possible if Saab gets up and running again, after the necessary financial injection, so they can get back to business.
    So let VA get on board and accept his financial support to help Saab get through this difficult start up phase.
    Do not give GM the pleasure of saying……” you see: we were right”.

  10. Whatever comes out of it, I still believe there is somebody at the end of the line waiting to pick up the remains on the cheap – and perhaps turn them around and return to former glory, as seems to be the case (kinda) with MG.

    So, this read from China Car Times gives an interesting insight:

    Saab’s savior isn’t likely to be Geely’s Li Shu Fu, instead we should look to BAIC’s Wang Da Zong, the Chairman at the helm of BAIC. Wang Da Zong is different to other automotive chairman at state owned companies, he is considerably younger than his contemporaries, he is a fluent English speaker and loves to crack the occasional English joke and is very wise to his surroundings.

    Even though China Car Times’ editors are hardly complimentary of Saab (European car industry woes aside, who but people at the heart of the Chinese automotive industry should be able to appraise the value of a solid engineering base), it seems their guess as to where to look at to see Saab’s future might very well be correct.

  11. OK just a thought-its been said once or twice before but not in this way-maybe it needs bringing to the front (in case of emergency)

    What would it take to save saab again ok -the answer is money.
    How much?
    Under what terms?

    Can the Saab buying public donate anything to the cause?
    Would advance orders on the Ng9-3 help? could that be done? as I for one want is if it is anything like the rumours I’d order one now.

    if is just a cash advance how much would say 150,000 saab owners need to pay to keep saab going -£1000?

    What might they get in return? (how could you debenture that money-not in equity but in good will, other “freebies”)

    Just some random thoughts but we may want to think along those lines soon and develop a plan that would assist in parternship with what the leadership at saab needs and thinks appropriate.

    If I could do my bit again to save Saab, to get them over this hump, I would. but whatever it is it would need to be agreed, team lead, sensible, inspirational and welcomed by Saab.

    the question then is what do they want us to do-short of buying a new 9-5 or og 9-3??

    I will buy one but it has to be next year.

    • Lets try and be sensible…This is the biggest Saab fan site in the world and it has just 1500 members (of which maybe 5% could buy a new Saab today)! Last year they only sold 33000 car and the majority would have been to faceless leasing companies not individuals. This year they may sell around the same number. Where are you going to find 150,000 people!! Madness.

      To give Saab potential for a longer term they realistically need an investment of well over a billion euros.
      If you look at most Swedish news forums it does seem that the average swede in the street wants Saab closed down rather than spend their tax money on the company. That is pretty damning which ever way you look at it!
      The simple fact is that outside of this website the average person would not care if Saab closed or not and that is a fact.

      • If you look at most Swedish news forums it does seem that the average swede in the street wants Saab closed down rather than spend their tax money on the company.

        I would say, that if you look at hose forums you see that most of the people commenting there wants Saab closed down, not more and not less, it is too much speculation to say that those represent the average Swede.

        But nobody has told those Swedes that destroying about 10.000+ Jobs, and maybe a whole industry sector, let’s see how long Volvo will stay in Sweden, could cost even more tax money.

        • The public were aware of the situation just over a year ago and I don’t think there point of view has changed or has been showed a reason to change.
          The Swedish government said back then that they were not a car maker and if the biggest car maker in the world could not make it work financially they would rather invest their tax money on retraining those out of work into green industry than in Saab themselves.
          After being involved in selling Saabs for over 23 years the interest is very quiet and as other people have said its a big risk to buy a new Saab now.
          If it continues like this there will be fewer than 50 Saab dealers in the UK and they will not be able to sell the number of Saabs that are required to get close to break even.

  12. We will not need to retaliate.
    The press will have another field day of placing the blame at both the government and EIB.
    If Saab is gone they will need someone new to shoot at

  13. How about Saab to sell vouchers toward a future Saab purchase, valid indefinitely (as long Saab is alive).
    I am in no position to buy a new Saab within the next 24-36 months, but would be willing to purchase a voucher worth, lets say, ie 1000 USD, or any multiple thereof, if I knew it would go towards helping Saab to survive. This could then be used at any official Saab dealer for car, accessory, service, maintenance, etc…
    Just a crazy idea and time is probably to short, but anyways, it is an idea…

  14. I know the storm is getting thicker and the clock is ticking, but really the only thing we can do that would make a difference is buy a SAAB and have your friends buy a SAAB. Otherwise, I guess it is simply keep calm and carry on until we hear the results of the decision makers.

    • And there’s the problem. I’ve talked to my friends and associates about buying a Saab and no-one wants to take the risk. People feel the odds are not good and are worried about resale values, warranty cover etc.

      While this problem persists, I don’t see how Saab will be able to sell enough cars…

      Very sad…

  15. More than a year ago people were interested in buying Saab partly because the 95 and the 94x was more or less paid for and was just about to be launched.
    I`d say the situation is even stronger in those regards now.
    The 95SC just opened up for orders, as did the 94x. The 93 is a year from being shown with most of the work done. We have the electric rear axel system, wich is supposed to blow everybody away etc. etc. that we probably know nothing about.
    I cant see it any differet way than that Saab is in a strong position to attract investors.
    Therefore I feel conident this will all work out our way.

    I dont want`to rant, but Ceep Calm and Carry On!

  16. Strange headline and even confirms that EIB have agreed to the deal.

    Saab cash deal needs GM approval, bank says

    AMSTERDAM/STOCKHOLM – The go ahead for a deal that would allow Spyker Cars to raise cash for Saab depends on the approval of General Motors Co., Eva Srejber, the European Investment Bank’s vice chairman, told a Swedish newspaper.

    Read more:

    Autonews


    Only clean-up, no censorship 😉

    //RedJ

  17. If you look at this from the EIB perspective VA is not allowed into the company because NDO hasn’t decided if he is maffia who kills rivals or entrepreneur that turns water into wine yet. Still NDO and SAAB wan’t EIB to stand behind the loan to a company that reduced the collateral to borrow even more money from a (wrongly?) accused man that isn’t allowed into the company because he is possibly laundering money and killing business rivals even though it’s ridiculous for anyone with eyes and brains. I wouldn’t go for it either until swe gov gets it sorted out. I guess EIB said that this is unacceptable and that Antonov is in or out or maybe they don’t want him at all. Who knows…

    if this will ever be sorted out it is when Antonov is allowed in as an owner in about 6 million years when the bureaucrats in EU come back from coffe brake sometime next week or next year to begin playing glacier for 5.x million years or so. Then he will have a year to get rid of EIB and get BAIC on the train. As BAIC was on the Koenigsegg deal I guess they are white pigeon enough for GM.

    … or I’m completely full of garbage!

  18. If SAAB wrere finished these people would not be meeting, the Russian gent would not be fling to Sweden, and we would hear talk of bankruptcy.
    By mid-week expect godd news. (Think Asian).

  19. A lot of speculation these days. I can understand that many Saab friends are frustrated and cannot just sit down and wait. But try to avoid too many negative speculations. To-morrow we will know.

  20. I would hope that BAIC or someone similar (ie with the CASH to invest over 24 months plus) would come in quickly after the immediate cash crisis is sorted. It is in nobodies interest for SAAB to fail – however the lack of support in Sweden from the various blogs I have seen has been very negative to say the least. SAAB needs a multinational ownership structure with enough short term cash and investment to “reinvent” itself around new 9-3 phoenix over the next 24months – cant keep relying on dreams and iconic brand histrory – COLD HARD CASH REQUIRED ! ! !

  21. I can’t help but to think about the future for a certain former government employee from down under who just accepted a position with Saab … let’s hope this plant closure turns out to be a small ripple on the way to long term success.

  22. I think its fair to say that Saab are in massive trouble now.
    The sales figures have been poor and the new 95 has not done well.
    The 94X will struggle like mad in Europe and the estate 95 will not sell that well if it is not priced very keenly indeed,
    With a balanced view it is hard to see where Saab can go from here. If they can get through the next few months realistically they would be in this position again next year.
    Saab has always struggled to make money (hence being sold to GM in the first place) and sometimes things just have to be left to die.
    When I realised that this website only has 1500 members I was truly shocked. If only 1500 people are that passionate about the brand I think you can understand part of the problem.

    Mr Muller’s plan to sell to 1% of Saab owners now seems totally unrealistic with the products available. We have sold one Saab in 3 weeks. This is now getting close to the garage choosing to let the brand go!
    I have been loyal to Saab for a long time but I have a mortgage and family too and at the end of the day its just a car maker. A car maker that has just been a brand amongst many in the biggest automaker in history …and still not made money. I feel it is time to move on I’m afraid.

    • gawdlpus,

      The March sales numbers showed promise.

      The 9-4x is first and foremost designed with the american market in mind. It was assumed it would struggle quite a bit in Europe, but dealers are reporting quite a bit of interest here as well. But AFAIK, the business plan does not assume the 9-4x will be a hit in Europe. Saab have been questioned many times on the non-availability of diesel, and they are well aware of the challenges involved in selling a non-diesel 9-4x in Europe.

      • Where is the interest? I’m in the UK and we have none!! To launch the car is going to cost millions in Europe alone and I’d be amazed if the costs could be covered by EU sales .
        The sales numbers are up but only because last year no one bought any. Look how many cars Seat , Volvo , Audi are selling!! We may have sold more than last year but its not enough for them to be able to pay the bills now.
        We have almost £9000 off pre registered 95 2.0 Aero’s and they have sat there for 3 weeks!
        From the shop floor it is very quiet…. and that is before we have any bad press. The BBC have hardly any coverage about whats going on . If this issue was on the news tonight we would really be in deep!
        The business plan is not working so how much notice can you take of it? Now we are almost in May with 13000 sales or less? They wanted 80,000!!

      • There’s going to be a lot of this resentment by people who have based their livelyhoods on Saab, those who simply have invested a lot in their garage or even ones who’ve see Saab as their favorite hobby. People want someone to blame, they’re hurting and they want to lash out.

    • gawdlpus,
      With all due respect, If you still represent the Saab brand, I find your remarks irresponsible.

      To your point about only being 1,500 members. That has nothing to do with the number of people who support or believe in Saab. We have hundreds of Saab customers and I bet only a fraction have heard of SaabsUnited.

      I can appreciate your frustration as there are thousands of us who rely financially on Saab however driving the nail into the coffin as an employee of a Saab dealer is uncalled for.

      If it is your time to move on, kindly do so and let the rest of us who represent Saab support it with class and in a manner complimentary to the brand’s image.

      • So you would prefer to hear that everything is OK and fine and dandy and essentially lie?? I never thought that was the Saab way.
        Are my petulant comments any more irresponsible than the comments made from the very top?
        It might appear that some of VM’s quotes could have been somewhat irresponsible when it may seem he has possibly told untruths regarding the advertising company being “let go” and late payments to suppliers .
        I apologise if I am being negative but I just want some reality and honesty now.
        I will go with my head held high knowing I tried my best.

        • Really, for most of their recent existence, Saab has sold in excess of the 80,000 cars they need to break even. It certainly isn’t pipe dreaming to believe Saab can continue to do that. They do have an uphill climb to regain momentum, but it is fully possible for them to do so.

          Whether VM is the right person to run the show is another thing, and perhaps Saab needs to revise and refine their business plan. On the other hand, Spyker Cars was adamant that they want experienced car industry executives to run Saab, and they did hire quite a few.

          • You’re presenting the 80.000 number to break-even as a fact, Pure speculation. Just because VM keeps shouting that they’ve lowered their break-even point doesn’t mean it’s true. He has made a lot of other promises he couldn’t keep.

            I don’t see why Saab would have a lower break-even now then they did before. They have higher cost, more debt, higher interest rates and they have to heavily discount their cars to get them sold. When you have to give 30% discount on a new 9-5 you can be sure that they are selling them at a loss.

            And don’t start on sharing technology and all the other buzz words, In that case i would like to see how they lowered their cost on the current model range.

  23. I miss Swade’s way of presenting facts during precedent crisis.
    Somehow then I was able to see things clearer (or at least had that feeling 🙂 ) and optimistic. Right now the way the articles are written and links presented tend to make me feel unclear and not that optimistic.
    I think what is missing is some sort of review of all of this in a clear (and optimistic) article.

    Good luck!

  24. At this point I have to hope for a Chinese takeover, no matter how unappealing that is.

    Face it folks, despite the best efforts and entrepreneurial expertise of VM, the big thing holding saab back is the confidence of the carbuyer in the companies future. Even if the sale of property to VA is approved with no more shenanigans how long will that tide saab over, 6 months? a year?, that uncertainty will leave confidence at rock bottom and sales will continue to underperform.

    When someone buys a volvo, they don’t have to consider will the company be around for the warranty period, will I get spares and service in the future, will my resale value collapse with the companies demise. Saab needs similar ownership to eliminate those questions and allow the cars to be considered on their merits. The investment could be small and VMs entreprenurial plan of using suppliers and platforms to run a low volume company could continue, hopefully with him at the helm of a semi-separated company and with a minority ownership stake to reward that vision and keep him around, but a credible underwriting of the company would be key to it

    Of course, by some miracle BMW could ride over the hill, deciding that another brand to amortize its platforms over for cheap is the way to go (and forget the MG rover debacle), and it needs to counter VW groups megalomania.

  25. After all Saab has been through I can’t see this being something that will afect Saab long term. VA has money, everyone is determined and there seems no reason not to approve him. With the 9-4X and new 9-3 in particular the outlook is bright.
    Griffin up people!

  26. Not sure I like the idea of an Asian owner-eg BAIC

    but hey-beggers can’t be choosers I guess-everyone seems to be foreign to europe now except BMW/Audi/Merc.

    I always liked the swedish kit-it is it less Swedish then I may not be interested any longer…

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