As we mentioned before, this week Victor is one of the guests at the Swedish TV show “Skavlan”. The show was recorded tonight and good ol’ di.se already provide an excerpt of what Victor had to tell. For readers of SU there is not much new stuff in there, just a confirmation of some things that have been up here for quite a while. Generally Victor sounds pretty relaxed and reflected. He is optimistic that a solution can be found but he also admits that bankrupcy waits if not.
I just picked up a few pieces and added my two cents.
He is cautious to point fingers at Guy Lofalk’s direction.
“I do not think there is someone to blame. In fact, there were some contracts that we were all very aware, and we reached an agreement that stood in stark contrast with the contracts. So by making these agreements, we took the risk that GM would say no – and that was what happened, “he said during the TV broadcast.
He is quick to point out that he believes the original plan, with himself as the remaining co-owner, had better chances to win GM’s approval.
The way he says that “we took the risk that GM would say no” implies that all who were involved in the plan were pretty aware of that risk. For those who still wonder why he signed that MOU then the answer is quite simple: as Lofalk threatened to end reconstruction he simply had no choice to give Saab a lifeline even though he did not believe in it.
Lots of talk has been about what GM’s demands may be. The crew heared something about a 20% barrier a while ago and over the last few days this has been in the news, too. As Victor states it, I’d think this barrier was set in the original contracts as GM sold Saab.
Exactly how such a solution looks like he can not say, but points out that as long as you stay within the restrictions that the contract with GM is, it should be possible to find a way.
According to Victor Muller, GM has the right to say no if a party takes a stake in Saab, which is more than 20 percent.
This makes me wonder why the Chinese ever tried to push through the 100% takeover. And why Lofalk ever supported that plan so broadly. His job should be to find a vialble, realistic solution to let Saab live on. I got a few harsh comments as I criticized his work a while ago but I still believe that he in some way obsessed to find a pure Chinese deal. If he had been more open for all available options we might have saved some time in that process. I won’t start conspiracies again here, I’ll just leave it to the fact that there are things on earth that I just don’t get.
The unevitable question was about Antonov and his involvement in Saab.
He also guarantees that no money from the Russian, now embezzlement suspect, financier Vladimir Antonov gone directly into Saab.
“Mr. Antonov were excluded from the transaction,” said Victor Muller after recording. “Unfortunately,” he adds.
He says that he himself, in 2010, through a company, lent money by Vladimir Antonov to finance Saab purchase.
You still owe him money?
“My company owes him money, yes,” he says to di.se.
However, this shall not be a problem. If someone lends you money that he does not own, this can’t be your problem. The contract should still be intact, just the account you pay to may change. So to me this is nothing to worry about too much. It is more like a story the press needed to fill the silence surrounding Saab over the past few weeks.
The article ends with a statement on the wages that were not paid.
“The only thing I can promise is that your CEO is working day and night to make sure that you get a good Christmas”, is Victor Muller’s message to the employees.
I know that “day and night” is not just an empty phrase here. I have the highest respect for Victor, who is chasing a solution for such a long time. He does not give in, and this is the reason why Saab is still around. For all those loyal employees who are still at Saab I dearly hope the plan can surface soon and money comes in.
The complete show will broadcast on Friday at 21.00 CET on SVT1. We’ll try to provide a stream.