Updated: “Saab might get split up” – CLEPA and others interviewed by TTela

Update: A source close to SU says that Youngman are back in the race. The receivers are now back in touch with Youngman.

Several stakeholders are critical of the way the bankruptcy gets handled. TTela reports: “What are the receivers doing? That is the question posed by several stakeholders concerning Saab’s bankruptcy – Youngman’s advances are rejected, the Swedish stakeholders receives no feedback while Semcon could be getting their hands on some of the estate.”.

Fredrik Sidahl, CEO of FKG (An interest group for suppliers in Scandinavia), points out that the receivers were invited to visit Youngman’s facilities in China, but will not be represented today. “Every proposal for a complete solution should be carefully examined”. He notes that the receivers have not been in touch with neither himself nor any of his member companies.

Instead, among others, IF Metall (one of the unions) will meet with Youngman.

Lars Holmqvist, CEO of CLEPA, is also critical: “One can voice different opinion of Youngman, but they are the only ones truly familiar with the case after having spent half a year negotiating with the company. For other interested parties it would take months before a complete solution could be presented. There is no available time for that.”

“Youngman has a plan involving the next generation 9-3, producing a new Lotus in the Saab factory and access the Phoenix technology. They should be considered.”

On the contrary, the bankruptcy estate is running out of cash. “They are forced to divest assets in order to operate properly”.

Divesting assets makes it harder to reach a complete solution. Semcon seems to be getting closer to acquiring certain assets. Saab AB has also been mentioned having similar interests.

“There are assets that are interesting to many, but if these are divested what remains could be worth nill. And that could cause problems finding a solution that covers everything” says Darko Davidovic, General Counsel for IF Metall.

Saab AB’s spoke person Erik Magni says “We are interested in Saab’s engineers, through Combitech, which is something we have announced. That is all I know.”

CLEPA’s Lars Holmqvist thinks it starts smoldering with his member companies. “They have debts of 1.5 billion SEK. If Saab gets split up they will not be able to recover debts. They want the production to restart. I do not want to make threats, but many big suppliers are staffed with lawyers who they can assign to look into this matter.”

TTela has not been able to reach Semcon and the receivers about this – and other matters. The receiver yesterday called for a press conference on Saturday.

18 thoughts on “Updated: “Saab might get split up” – CLEPA and others interviewed by TTela”

  1. I am really sad when i read this!
    But i can understand why it is going that way.
    Let’s hope Youngman will be the new owner, it seems that that is the best sollution (so far).

    • What is really is going on ?
      I don’t know swedish law, but if cash has ran out and somebody puts money on the table,
      can It be rejected ?
      The creditors should have something to say about this, they have the biggest economical interest to get their money back !
      I preserve Youngman, they should have enough funds to get SAAB back in the business.

        • The creditors will never get all money back, no matter who buys SAAB. Also Youngman has never and will never say “just write your price, put as many zeros as you want”. It is tough negotiations.
          As I said before, the administrators must get as much money as they can for SAAB. They must not pay attention if someone wants to buy SAAB and continue as car company or produce windmills. Sad but true.

          • “Ma[i]n focus are now in finding a party interested in Saab as a whole, barely two weeks since the bankruptcy occurred and they have been in contact with several swedish and foreign parties.” +
            “We have had contact with a few creditors who have influence over the bankruptcy, such as the National Debt Office for example.” (http://saabsunited.saabklubben.se/2012/01/ttela-interview-with-the-receivers.html)

            The reason I quoted the passage pertaining to NDO, is that there was a news item prior to this article that said NDO had told the receivers that NDO preferred Saab to be be sold as a going concern.

            I.e. the largest creditor has voiced their opinion and I believe the receivers are supposed to protect the creditors’ best interests? (my assumption — I have no idea what Swedish law says about this)

            • All suppliers know that they will probably get nothing or very little if Saab is sold piece by piece. It is, therefore, not at all in their interests to see that happen. They would be much more interested in re-generating a steady flux of future income by resuming supplying Saab as a going concern. That’s why they take the longer-term point of view and prefer Saab to continue producing.

              I am, in fact, surprised that the suppliers haven’t yet united and put in a bid themselves to safeguard their future turnover. There are giant corporations amongst them who could bid for Saab on their own if they wanted to. If united, they could easily resurrect Saab as one of the biggest problems, the re-instatement of the supply chain, would then be effectively removed. And once Saab is back on its feet, they could always sell their shares with a nice profit to some big automotive group like Fiat, VAG or whoever and still continue making good money as a supplier. There is always interest in acquiring a profitable industrial business.

              There are many past examples of creditors converting their claims into share capital.


                • Aligning all creditors would probably be impossible, but maybe it would take only a handful suppliers..?

                  Definitively an interesting idea, but one that must have crossed their own minds by now..?

                • Well, maybe it didn’t and will now? 😉

                  If just a few of the really big ones got together then it could take off. Magna was mentioned as a candidate. That’s another (big)automotive supplier, isn’t it? If they are interested then why would a consortium of several large companies not be? Especially if it offers them extra sales and a lot of extremely useful engineering expertise? There is probably a lot of space on the OEM and after markets for, say, another supplier of Saab-developed advanced turbos for rightsized small-volume engines? Could well prove to be a runaway success, I’d think. Orhow about those electric rear axles? Or all those environment-related tweaks? Or…


  2. Didn’t I read somewhere, here I believe, that the new 900 was 55% GM technology? If so, why fool yourselves in thinking the Chinese are the right buyer? If the new 9-5, 9-3, 9-4x and the new 900 are all or more than half GM, aren’t we living in fantasy land?

    No means no to GM.

      • Yup, both numbers have been mentioned. The 10% number is more recent. I think VM mentioned that at the Dec 19th press conference?

        Castriota said they were getting ready to put prototypes on the road. I recently spoke with one engineer who mentioned 9-3 test mules with the BMW engine (I think it has been mentioned here before).

        They did a lot for that platform during the past two years. Whether it is 10% or 55% GM tech remaining, I think a lot can be achieved within the next two years.

        It all comes down to the size of Youngman’s pockets (or rather how much money they can borrow if need be).

        Or to rephrase: If Youngman had no use for the Phoenix platform at this point, they would not bother bidding for the company.

        • Both figures may be correct. The 55% could be the content of GM-sourced parts and components (which could possibly be easily replaced by products of some other OEM supplier, like alternators or starters from Bosch). The 10% could be uniquely GM-owned IP (although I really wonder what could be so revolutionary or special for GM in it to kill an iconic brand over; if it is the ECU software then that would really be a laugh as everybody and his grandmother can remap it) or perhaps IP developed by Saab and owned by GM, such as the Trionic engine management system or the Direct Ignition Cassette. Which, of course, would become kind of academic if the cars would be equipped with BMW powerplants.


          • The 9-5 is supposed to be the main issue GM had with Saab changing hands.

            The 9-5 has new suspension, HUD, various sensors (parking, wiping, lane dep warning, hi-beam, etc), Variable Effort Steering, a cover for the cupholder that opens smoothly, and a direct-injection engine to mention a few.

            It could possibly be the Epsilon platform itself..?

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