Brightwell Holdings BV – Who are they?

After posting about Mahindra the other day, it is only fitting to now do a post on Brightwell. I have attached a bunch of links too if you would like to read more for yourselves. Brightwell was established in 2006 as a private investment company that makes global investments in the energy and environmental technologies, transport technologies and services and innovative technology solutions and services fields. Like Mahindra in the way that they are involved in many different business ventures from manufacturing of computer products to building ships and boats. Brightwell is a worldwide network consisting of financial and strategic investors that make them better positioned than most to evaluate investment opportunities from the economic, technical and political perspectives. When you do a search online of Brightwell, you won’t find a Wikipedia link to list all of their companies or their net worth which probably is similar to most private investment companies. It is important then to look at their leader to get a better understanding of who they are.

The leader or CEO of Brightwell is Alphan Manas. Looking at this man’s credentials is like writing a book. He was born in 1962 in Izmir, Turkey. He attended Aegean University where he graduated with a degree in Textile and Apparel Engineering. He then received a Master’s degree in production management from State University of New York in 1987.

He has worked as a Production Manager in New York for Tenba. He returned to Turkey in 1987 as Country Manager of the Colonial Corporation, a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 apparel giant, Vicks Corporation and supplier to American department store chains such as Sears, K-Mart, JC Penny and Wal-Mart. In 1988, he co-founded Exim followed by Planet and Teknoser and then gathered them all under the flagship of a holding company, Teknoloji Holding in 1998. In February of 2006 he parted ways with his partner and established Brightwell Holdings BV in the Netherlands, so as much as 2006 makes it look like Brightwell is relatively new, looking at the CEO and his history would show you that Brightwell may be a young company, but the CEO behind it has been around the block and knows what he is doing. Alphan’s role at Teknoloji had been that of “Business and Market Development”. His most successful venture with Teknoloji was that of a licensed sports betting project where he acted as project leader until they sold their 20% stake in 2005 for 400 million USD.

Alphan Manas has participated in several important infrastructure projects in Turkey at the government level and assisted in the drafting of bills, communiques and decrees.In my searching, I came across a power point on Hydrogen Business Opportunities in Turkey presented by Mr. Manas. In this presentation they spoke about the REPZEB Project which stands for Renewable Energy Powered Zero Emissions Boat. The objective is to show a clean and 100% renewable energy driven marine transportation vehicle to encourage and motivate both government and private sector companies to take part and invest in hydrogen economy efforts for a sustainable and clean earth.

Alphan has also written as a columnist for Forbes Turkey for 2 years and later for BusinessWeek. He is also an editor for Futuretakes magazine of World Future Society in the US and has his own blog which deals with a wide array of just about everything although the google translate gets a little lost.

As we’ve just read in Till’s post about the working relationship between Victor and Brightwell, one would have to think that they would have some pretty good insight on how to get things moving again quickly. It is clear to see that Manas and Brightwell Holdings BV are investing in the future and a big part of that is alternatives to the fuel we use now and with different laws being introduced to car manufacturers to bring emissions down, Brightwell seems to be on the right path. As much as Victor says he sees them as the best chance to restart Saab as a whole, I again will not say that I like them more or less then Mahindra, I believe they both have what we need and both could make a good owner for Saab.


25 thoughts on “Brightwell Holdings BV – Who are they?”

  1. Jason, according to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (the Holding company is registered in the Netherlands) the company is active since at least 2003.

  2. Alphan Manas has just verified the news we have read in Till’s blog. He stated that BH is on the final and yet they will receive a conclusion from the bankcruptcy lawyers tomorrow. What i can figure out from this BH is about to make a bid.

  3. Whoever has come forward with a viable plan to restart production or to revive the company should not be discounted lightly. Let the best team wins. Saab in its present state of affairs should not be choosy and in fact, it is in no position to want to cherry pick. What is worrying to say the least is there is practically no news from GM side. Are the bidders in touch with the right people in GM and any positive indication from them to make the whole rescue exercise work?

  4. I instantly feel a connection as I have found a kindred soul in Alphan – that’s the very kind of bollocks I’d write about myself for such purposes. And obviously, there is very little Saab-relevant substance in it. As Swade said, “show me the money”.

    VM also had an illustrious resume and personality. BTW, did anybody hear anything from Mahindra? Did they actually place a bid? Are they seriously interested?

    • Yeah, Mahindra’s bid was placed on Monday. But due to confidentiality agreements they have signed with the administrators, the bid amount is not disclosed. The question is, is the confidentiality agreement also to hide another fact they don’t want anyone to know about? For the administrators eyes only for now? I guess I like the transparency Brightwell is showing. Just a thought.

  5. BH officials have visited Detroit couple of days ago for possibly on talks with GM according to the local press, as i have written at a previois post. If they would come up with bad news from the trip, i think we would definetely hear them by now. Since there are no such news and BH is still in the game and about to make a bid, things are on the right track for BH in terms of GM.

  6. Does anybody have some info about how deep Brightwell’s pockets really are? We don’t need another Spyker disaster with optimistic plans and empty pockets.

  7. I would love to see a company that can truly fund Saab into and through the next 3 years. That,however, will cost much more than several hundred million Euros. Winning back the confidence of dealers, markets and overcoming devastating publicity will alone cost all of that.

    Ifffffff GM will license the 9-5 and current 9-3, there will need to be some more spent to catch these models up to current offerings from others, most notable the interior and radio system. The little green screen has got to go!

    Then get the SC into the lineup and move forward with the new 9-3. Much more money to be spent.

    A return to the US market in comparison to where Saab last was will require lower ( but more realistic) sticker prices and longer warranties that are backed by established financial institutions. There will also be the necessity to involve financial companies to assure dealers that their holdbacks and warranties are secure and paid. More money to be sopent.

    However, the right products at the right price, good dealer network, good advertising can be a very successful combination.

    • Nicely said….but how will you provide a good dealer network for example? Many dealership closed or turned their back on Saab. They were misled by so many fake promises in the past. Investments have been made, long dry spans have been suffered and in the end: nothing but ruins. Survival tops loyalty to a brand in any case. One would need much more money plus a global state-of-the-art financial solution in terms of leasing, floorplan financing and stuff like that. Otherwise I am afraid without a background like this the current dealer network won’t be able to jump on the Saab train again – no matter who rides it.

  8. “Brightwell is a worldwide network consisting of financial and strategic investors…..”

    And that is the crux of the whole story. These are investors and it is not clear if they will have a long term interest in Saab. These are people that buy something and if it is successful they will sell it at a profit, if it is not successful within a certain amount of time they will cut their losses and drop the ball.
    This is just my personal opinion, I could be totally wrong, but I just don’t like investors conglomerates.

    • Every company gets their initial capital from some “investors”, be it private, corporate or state-owned (or the state itself). The other option is banks. There are no charity funds providers. Saab needs to prove itself a worthy, profitable business and a better investment opportunity than others available – either by consistent, stable and secure performance, or risky but decisively above-average returns.

      • Yes, I agree, initial capital can come from investors. But Saab is hardly a start up company, its flat out running costs are just way too high. Add to that the development of a new portfolio and the associated tooling to produce in the order of 100,000 units a year and you’ll end up with numbers that investors usually balk at. However you spin it, in the last 2 years Saab has hardly proven itself to be a profitable business. This makes me very suspicious of investors that come in with ‘a couple of hundred million Euros’ to save Saab. I’m very much afraid that they will just not be in it for the long run.
        Imho, Saab would be much better off with a parent that understands car production and shows some passion for Saab products. GM was not a bad parent except that it lacked the last because it was (and still is) run by bean counters.

        • + 1
          Several hundred million Euro’s are not enough to go for the long run. On the other hand buying it cheap, fixing it and selling it to a more longrun-oriented car manufacturer in the future doesn’t seem too bad either

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