We like to give everyone the latest news here. Sometimes (a lot of times) we’ll hear whispers that we can’t possibly report on, because they’re likely to harm Saab’s deal making in some way or form. But tonight, we have a very weird and unorthodox story that’s breaking.
This story comes to us not from a Swedish paper, but from one that covers Asia-Pacific deals. The subject of the piece was primarily about venture capital deals in Hawaii from a particularly young private equity firm based in New York, that just opened new offices in Colorado, California, and Sweden. Endeavor Advisory Group confirmed to PBN (Pacific Business News) that they’re working on a deal with Saab. David Khalizad, a name we most likely will be getting very familiar with in the next day or so, is CEO of Endeavor, and admitted to PBN, “I must say, you guys look like geniuses,” when they figured out the deal after publishing their original article, confirming that it was true that they’re in talks with Saab. The oddest part is that this is part of a much larger project aimed at Environmental Pojects. Since PBN figured it out from Khalizad, Endeavor all but confirmed it themselves, by posting the PBN article on their website:
In the next 60 days or so, Endeavor plans to announce transactions that will be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, Khalilzad said.
Those announcements aren’t likely to include any Hawaii companies, but it’s looking to move pretty fast with renewable-energy projects in this state.
One of Endeavor’s first investments could be in the cash-strapped Swedish auto maker Saab, though Khalilzad wouldn’t identify the company beyond saying it’s a Swedish auto maker. It is also working with companies in Germany and Arizona on renewable-energy projects.
Mysteriously, this quote mentioned in PBN’s blog by Duane Shimogawa has been removed from the Endeavor website:
“Swedish Auto Giant Saab Automobile AB has hired Endeavor Advisory Group as investment banker to raise the company $350 million Euros in debt financing,” Endeavor Chairman and CEO David Khalilzad said. “We are very pleased that Saab Automobile AB has chosen Endeavor and Saab CEO Victor Muller said it is great to work with Endeavor Advisory Group.”
So that’s that folks. It’s not a quick fix (60 days), it’s not detailed yet, but it’s certainly being handled by the best in the business. Americans are sitting on trillions in cash, waiting for solid investments on the cheap to take advantage of. Saab seems ripe for the picking. Some might say the cat is out of the bag, others might say the rabbit is popping out of the hat. I’m not going to go into much more about it, and I’m not even going to hint whether or not this story jives with what else I’ve heard. All I can say is, the rabbit seems like he’s ready to come out of his hat again.
All credit to Jason on this one for finding the story.
For those of you unfamiliar with private equity groups, they’re basically cool investment arms for super rich people and institutions. David happened to run a very, very successful one, Geneva Capital Corporation, and has since gone on to found Endeavor. More about David Khalizad, from Endeavor’s website:
David Khalizad, Founder, Chairman
David Khalilzad began his financial services career at Citigroup in 1987, rising to Vice President, Real Property Services in charge of Commercial Real Estate. In 1990, he started his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley, one of the nation’s leading global financial institutions, becoming Senior Vice President in 1995. In 1997 Mr. Khalilzad founded Geneva Capital Corporation, where he served as Chairman and CEO for thirteen years. He was also founder and Chairman of U.S. Ethanol Holdings, which owned six ethanol plants in Illinois, Indiana, and California with a capacity of over 600 million gallons per year. Mr. Khalilzad is an honors graduate of the Department of Economics and Political Science, New York University, where he received the prestigious Founder’s Day Award in 1987.
No office location in Sweden is given on Endeavor’s website, though their Colorado and California locations are listed. Their global headquarters in New York on Park happen to be a few blocks from my office (and Jason Castriota’s new office too), so we might all have to stop over for a visit soon.