Victor entered the stage again as an advisor to Brightwell and he still likes SMS. In one he sent to the Swedish news agency TT he was pretty optimistic about Brightwell’s chances in the bidding process (from SvD.se):
“In my judgment, they have the best chance to restart the Saab as a whole,” he writes in a text message to TT.
He estimates that Brightwell is the candidate with the frontrunner to get the opportunity to build Saab’s current models, 9-3, 9-4 X and 9-5, where General Motors so far refused to relinquish the licenses to any buyer.
Of course, as he is in this he has to be optimistic. And this is just in line with what Brightwell has stated before. But regardless what you think about him I am pretty sure that he had not teamed up with the last in line. To Brightwell he completes the range of advisors they have with a little extra insight in the company. Not to forget that he is a lawyer specializing in large-scale M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions). This also includes turning around ailing companies so to a degree he is there in his original job.
I know there is a lot of scepticism towards Brightwell as there is not too much info available to the public. Not that I would want to call myself an expert when it comes to their abilities but definetely I’d not underestimate them. They have obviously contacted Saab already last fall which implies that they are prepared with a business plan and the apropriate funding.
The GM issue is indeed difficult but if you show up with the right package it may still work. I’ve been pretty strong on that issue stating that GM won’t license, but of course if an offer contains more shareholder value than not licensing things may change. Still, it is a ride on a razor’s edge to negotiate such things with GM.
A large part of the svd article deals with the fact that about 200 of the 3100 Saab employees that registered at the employment agency have already found a new job or at least are close to that. Of course this applies mostly to engineers. Though this may be a drain in knowledge this is still not fatal. As soon as a credible investor takes over Saab will be able to acquire the nessesary people. Fresh blood means fresh ideas.
Many will see an unique chance in joining Saab. For those who are there when things get back running there opens an opportunity to really create something, to have more influence on things than in most other places of the automotive industry. Saab has been a great place to work and it will become that again, I’m sure.
In addition to that, as the administrators stated in their press conference on the 31st of January that there are about 100 employees still on their payroll, who are crucial for a restart of Saab. A small base to build upon but at least a start.
Just a small note to the end – I just saw that news about a BAIC/Panasonic bid came up in comments. I would still not read too much in that. Yet BAIC only confirmed that they may be interested in certain parts like ePower. For now, I’d judge them as one of the many already trying to get their hand on parts if a complete sale should not happen.