Sometimes you just wish people would speak more clearly. When John Nylén, the lawyer and spokesperson for Youngman in Sweden, talked to ttela about Youngman’s new bid on friday, he said that they had “ongoing contact” with the receivers. But just before that he had told SVT-Västnytt that they did not have contact recently and that the receivers did not react on the then latest bid. So what are we up to believe here? It feels a bit like that statement towards SVT was to put some pressure on the receivers. Not too successful I’d say. The expression toothless tiger springs to mind.
What really bugs me about Youngman is the way they act ever since. They were talking a lot, making promises on what they were going to do. But except some money in the pre-bankrupcy times they did not deliver too much. And exactly this seems to be their biggest burdon in this whole process. Much against the normal way Chinese carry out business, they were pretty loud and everywhere.
They have been trying to compensate this with money. Their bid is pretty high, most likely even the highes we have seen yet. Meanwhile it is even mentioned that they have the ok from the NDRC which will keep all competitors from China out of the way. But are their credit lines really big enough for the bid and for the funding of a proper development of new models? And are credit lines really the right way to finance the complete takeover of Saab? You are free to make your own judgement but credits have to be repaid and put a lot of pressure on Youngman to make as much money out of Saab as they can. Even the Chinese government wants its money back some day. Do we really want another scenario whereby a business plan is mostly based on short- and long term financiers, financiers that could pull the rug out from under people’s feet?
The timing of Youngman’s renewed bids is also something that caught my interest. They always show up when a deal seems complete. I said that before, one could get the feeling they try to annoy all competitors in this process enough to leave so they would be the ones who are left. I doubt that they would be willing to pay the amount they are offering now, most likely they would try to step in much lower as soon as they are the only ones left. If they really meant it that serious they could have called Bo Lundgren and bought Saab Parts to create some facts. NEVS do not want it anyway.
But there may be another reason for this. Taking in account that Youngman is not considered too trustworthy and that NEVS only want to buy some of the seven packages Saab is divided into right now the receivers would need another option to complete their mission truly successful. We all could read that Mahindra went passive as the receivers came up with the seven package idea. But they did not leave the process and you can be sure they at least left their phone number. Ever since Mahindra really wanted to buy Saab but not at any price and not at any conditions. So there may be another option for talks. Just a thought…