There is a difference between SWAN and SAAB…

Today as I went through the news feed a headline caught my eye:

Saab may be forced into voluntary liquidation, even if sale to Pang Da and Youngman goes through

It appeared on Paul Tan’s Automotive News and I found similar headlines in a few other places, too.

It appears like they just didn’t get the difference between SWAN and SAAB because that possible liquidation scenario is exactly what SWAN were talking about for SWAN in their press info after the shareholders meeting last week. The contradiction in this headline, Saab will be sold and then liquidated, is obvious and almost comical but we know how such things can spread on the interwebs.

To clarify things, for those who did not read the SWAN info and for lazy journos, here’s a quote from Bloomberg:

Saab Auto Owner May Liquidate as Sale May Not Raise Enough Cash
Swedish Automobile NV, the Dutch owner of Saab Automobile, may liquidate even if it succeeds in selling the former General Motors Co. (GM) brand, as the proceeds may not be enough to pay off creditors.
Swedish Automobile, which has tentative agreements to dispose of Saab as well as its Spyker sports-car business, will consider โ€œall of its options,โ€ including a voluntary liquidation should the deals go through, the Zeewolde, Netherlands-based company said in a Nov. 11 statement.

29 thoughts on “There is a difference between SWAN and SAAB…”

  1. At least this time they have only confused SWAN with Saab Automobile. In other cases some lazy journos did even talk about Saab AB, which is a very different company ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. If the Swedish government would Guarantee the EIB bank, whom would have to pay the creditors, SWAN or SAAB Automobile?

    If the Swedish government would Guarantee the EIB bank, what would be the case of SWAN or SAAB Automobile declare voluntary liquidation?

    If a voluntary liquidation is declared, would SAAB die once and for all, or would SAAB be given birth again in the future?

    • Osama,
      the talks are about SWAN.
      Swedish Automobile NL (SWAN) has a total debt amount of โ‚ฌ 136,5 million. If SWAN sells Saab Automobile AB for โ‚ฌ 100 million and Spyker for โ‚ฌ 32 million, there is still money missing to pay all the creditors. And because of that and because SWAN would then be nothing else than a empty shell, SWAN would then liquidate itself.

      This is the information SWAN gave after the Extraordinary shareholders meeting on Nov 11, as you can read here.

    • Yes. SWAN was the parent company set up to own Saab and Spyker. If Saab is sold to Pang Da/Youngman and the Spyker sale goes through to North Street, then SWAN is a parent company with no “children”. Then it would make sense to just liquidate it.

  3. To me this could be negotiation techniques to put more pressure on the Chinese or other potential investors after GM made it clear that SAAB could not change hands. Any deal should keep SWAN as shareholder in SAAB since all technology licences are signed with SWAN.

  4. The only real fix for this constant misinformation is to get Saab back on its feet with real cash behind it. Otherwise, every b.s. “bankrupt” story written in the last two year becomes accurate.

  5. SWAN will liquidate itself with money geting from the sale of SAAB and Spyker. how about if saab deal can not be reached? if Swan liquidate itself, how about remaining saab? it’s assets can also be liquidated?

    • The question is what would actually remain?

      They might have some buildings, some parts, other bits of real estate…but everything else of value is actually owned by GM. GM’s position is that SWAN can’t sell what it doesn’t own.

  6. Does anyone know exactly how much did YoungMan & PangDa invested in SAAB already and what will happen if SWAN or SAAB will go bankrupt?
    Will they be privilleged among the other creditors SAAB has or they will have to wait in the line to get what’s left ?

  7. Thank you for making this post. I’ve had to answer this numerous times to worried customers, employees and fellow dealers since last Friday. Even when a journalist properly reported about the shareholders meeting, there still was a fair amount of unnecessary confusion and concern because the names SWAN and SAAB have been used so interchangeably in the media over the last several months. Again, thank you for posting the difference between SWAN and SAAB AB.

    • Kurt, there’s a saying here in the US: “You can’t polish a turd.”

      That seems to apply to any spinning of the Saab/SWAN situation, which has both entities slowly circling the drain — barring any last-minute deal on the sale of tech properties that neither Saab nor SWAN own.

      This raises the uncomfortable question of what you actually said to any worried customers or employees about the situation.

    • Saab Automobile AB. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Iโ€™m sure itโ€™s just a typo.)

      I.e. the former car division of Svenska Aeroplan AB (SAAB); of Saab AB (name change 1965); of Saab-Scania AB (1969: Saab AB + Scania-Vabis AB); and finally, since 1990, it is a separate company, Saab Automobile AB (then a joint venture between Saab-Scania AB and GM (and since Investor AB at the time increased its ownership in Saab-Scania AB, one could say it was Investor and GM) and later owned fully by GM). Not to be confused with Saab AB, nowadays.

      Good of you to explain it to customers et al. ๐Ÿ™‚ The abovementioned headline was ridiculously confusing.

  8. God help us. You latch onto the most arcane point and I suppose it makes your feel superior. To the “man on the street”, if you said swan or SWAN or Swan (why put a cap on each word?), they would think you were talking about a large white bird in the park.

    This way, in a limited amount of space, it is in context. They are talking about the car company.

    I think in journalism 101 they teach you to write so the average person knows what you are talking about. This company, swaN, will survive or fail despite not because of SAAB or SwAn. You need to focus on what matters.

    • Well, there is a pretty big difference, and no, they are not talking about the car company. As mentioned by Till, Kurt et al; and as Till mentioned in the post there is a contradiction in the headline he mentioned, that is so obvious it gets almost comical (and perhaps confusing to some). If one is following this with a genuine interest it should be pretty obvious what’s wrong in the headline, and perhaps a needed wake up call for other, that what the media writes isn’t always correct; many times it’s not the whole truth, and sometimes it’s just wrong.
      It’s sloppy writing.

      (why put a cap on each word?)

      To be honest that is something you should ask the guys in the US, since they are well known to “put a cap” on almost every word, quite often (“Breaking News”, “Welcome To Our Party” etc.). As for names it’s a different thing (as well as the German capitalization of all nouns).

  9. @rallyho – this is not arcane and your reply precisely demonstrates the need for this post. When they refer to SWAN, swan, SwAn or however you want to mix caps and lower case, they ARE NOT talking about the car company; SU’s post is not a grammar lesson, but about proper communication of fact. The shareholders meeting on Friday specifically discussed what would happen to SWAN shareholders’ equity as result of the sale of SAAB and the possible sale of Spyker. In their discussion, they indicated that SWAN may liquidate – this again IS NOT the car company – this IS the holding company who owns the shares. These are 2 very different entities, SAAB could survive and SWAN could cease to exist; therefore, their shares may have no value in spite of SAAB, the car company, continuing under new ownership. So, in going back to your journalism 101, they were not giving the average reader an accurate context of what they writing about.

  10. Kurt’s clarification to the dealer body was appreciated and articulated in a way that the journos should have. There are many people who took what was written as Saab (the car company) going into liquidation, despite a deal being executed. The distinction is critically important. No one is trying to ‘spin’ the news into something positive. It is exactly what it is.

  11. AJ: “Despite a deal being executed?”

    A deal between whom and for what? If you and I agree to sell you my neighbor’s house — even though I don’t own it — there might be a transaction in the works but that doesn’t quite make for “a deal being executed.”

    • Now you’re nitpicking; that wasn’t the main point here, was it? When, if, whatever, there is a 100% sale of Saab and Spyker, there will be a situation for Swan to handle, if they have no more business, and perhaps still more debts; they have to discuss that. The part about whom owns what in Saab or Spyker, whatever isn’t the point.

  12. I too was confused when I first read this and thought how is what they are saying right. It was said initially when the 100% ownership deal was brought up that the Chinese would assume all outstanding debt, so how do Swan then liquidate anything associated with Saab? It didn’t make sense to me then and now someone has taken the time to clarify. Thanks, Till. To people that are taking this post as an opportunity to throw smart kinds of comments to two representatives of the dealer body, do you really think that people that are responsible for a large number of employees and whom’s own personal financial situation is directly tied to Saabs success or failure need to have their words dissected? I can personally tell you that both Kurt and AJ have done a great job to represent Saab and have helped more than just their own stores with what they do. Please keep to topic as well, all this post is really doing is clarifying what was said and that is all it needs to be.

  13. Granted, journalists should get their facts straight and figure out what they’re talking about in order to convey good information to the people they reach… But it’s still a little confusing or odd to the regular person who isn’t following Saab-specific news.

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