DI: Swedish Government is Willing to Help *UPDATE

UPDATE: We now know the lens for which to view this story. It’s clear they’re trying to set Saab up on a route independent from current management. Read Tim’s newer post about this.


File this under the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category, but according to DI.se, the Swedish Government is working to solve Saab’s debt situation with the EIB. That’s according to their source,  Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s former State Secretary Ulrika Schenström, now a consultant who’s working closely Saab administrator Guy Lofalk.

According to information provided to the newspaper is the government’s plan to solve the Saab’s debt to the European Investment Bank, EIB. The aim is to convert the Debt Office’s assets in the Saab to shares which are then quickly sold to a Chinese buyer.

Saab administrator Guy Lofalk has recently been traveling in China and met with several Chinese companies, including Saab partner Youngman but also Geely, which owns Volvo Cars, has previously expressed interest in parts of Saab.

While there has been a knot in the thread between Youngman and Saab. The Chinese company has not paid the promised 640 million for technology licenses and said that Saab has not yet fulfilled all the terms of the agreement between the parties.

“If the conditions are not met, we can not pay,” writes Rachel Pang, president of Youngman Automobile Di.

The money from Youngman necessary for Saab to cope with reconstruction.

Whether or not this pans out, it’s reassuring to know there are parallel plans in effect to help Saab emerge from this crisis.


Thanks to Magnus for the tip.

19 thoughts on “DI: Swedish Government is Willing to Help *UPDATE”

  1. If this helps Saab, I will be very thankful with the Swedish government, but it is quit ironical that they are capable to own a company car now, and not three or four moths ago. 🙁

    • I could be afraid that this “strange behaviour” from the Swedish Government can be explained by their intentions about a Volvo-Geely-Saab-solution. Unaware of the true qualities of Saab as they seem to have always been.
      So possibly the Saab-case have turned into a political issue in both China and Sweden, both countries wanting Geely to step in (and maybee more or less a Volvo-Saab-fusion) ???

      • Apparently when some of the folks from China were here earlier this year the then Minister of Enterprise also mentioned the Geely-Volvo deal, as to mention something that seems to be successful.

        (It is known that the Chinese have realised that they can be more successful owning companies with some development and production abroad. Compare with the not so good situation for Roewe, based on MG Rover tech etc.)

        I can understand why the minister et al mentioned that deal; but one also get the impression, especially now with the latest news, that the politicians just want it to be finished, to get off the agenda. And then they don’t care that much, or even have the knowledge about the different participants, which one would be the best for Saab etc. They just want it to get off the radar.

  2. Personally I´m pretty concerned by the apparant conflict between Saab and Youngman. Saab basically accuses Youngman for not understanding the due process, and what is needed for the NDO (and EIB I bet) in terms of financial information. Youngman, on the other hand, basically accuses Saab for not fulfilling their part of the deal. The fact that both parties are even saying this in public is worrying. I still hope for the deal to remain intact, with Pangda and Youngman taking a stake in Saab. But signs are suddenly less positive than a week ago. Fingers crossed, as always.

    • Feels a bit more positive after reading the article in Sydsvenskan, where Rachel Pang is being interviewed. (Tim has made a new post of it too.)

  3. Rachel Pang is quoted as saying ” if conditions are not met, we cannot pay” – so have SAAB failed to keep their side of the bargain or is this a misunderstanding that needs to be resolved PDQ?

  4. My sources says the work with Youngman works well.
    What is concerning me is the closeness between Lofalk and Lindblad at the department. Also that Schenström is the aide to Lofalk and she used to be Reinfelds aide (had to resign after a wine scandal with a TV4 reporter).
    I fear that the Neo-Liberals (Borg himself) who run our fair country, through Schenström and Lindblad, will call the balls of this game. Why on earth can the not find an industrialist who understands the car industry and not put in politicians & or politically appointed people with control-screwdrivers in their necks.

  5. Rumour rumours rumours..

    Anyway, if there’s some truth init, itcertainly wouldn’t be bad if, say, Saab, Youngman and Pang DA areworking hard on the current Plan A and if Geely is in the background, officially not taking part, but yet interested in, for example, replacing Youngman if the Chinese government would not agree on the current proposal.

    Anyway, just speculations. I’d really really like if there is any truth in the rumour about buying out EIB, though. =)

  6. You know, as a non-Swede I’ve found the criticism of SweGov in threads on SU just a little bewildering. The problem with Saab has not been the brand (we all know that), nor has it been the highly inventive and successful design engineering capability, and obviously not the workforce (which has hardly been tested to destruction recently). The problem in the recent past has been absolutely appalling financial management.

    So, if you were SweGov and you understood that, how do you engineer a replacement of those that can’t with some who can, when the Company is quoted and managed by majority interests. The only way you can possibly do that is to wait for the inevitable to happen and then act swiftly behind the scenes to facilitate an effective takeover, whilst seeking to protect the local infrastructure, and most particularly the workforce.

    Therefore, this is what I imagine has been going on, ‘tough love’ on the part of SweGov to Saab in this way, which has been misinterpreted here as complete apathy. I do hope that, when all this resolves itself, they are given a little more respect for their actions, although as a non-Swede that is not, of course, really any of my business.

  7. Well, well, well…

    I just don´t know what to say.

    Confusing, annoying, irritating.

    The old saying: “Better late than never” just doesn´t seem to fit that well 🙁

    Wonder what has changed..?

  8. The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
    – Ronald Reagan

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