A week ago we were extremely eager to hear who will buy Saab. After weeks of waiting news outlets reported that the deal was about to be signed. As our friends at saabblog.net wrote yesterday even the Vänersborg court had on the 24th of May sent out letters to the creditors saying that most likely be only the legally preferred creditors will get some money. Another indicaion that NEVS was on the home stretch in this deal.
But now things went quiet again and we are asking ourselves what happened. Of course Youngman’s new bid is one issue in this. But to get a more complete picture of recent events we have to go back in time a bit.
A few weeks ago the receivers came up with an idea: they untied the big Saab package and made seven smaller ones. Their tactic was to get more money for the creditors through that and they expected that either Youngman or Mahindra would come and buy all those small packages together.
As we know Youngman were sent home as hey could not show the money. And Mahindra? Well, they have a huge interest to buy Saab but not at any price. I can imagine they were not too happy with the way the receivers tried to raise the price so the went to passive mode.
Just at that moment NEVS showed up, picked some of those seven packages and made a bid for those. While we do not know which ones they took, this of course explains why they made it to the finals with a bid that seemed to be pretty low. At this moment the NEVS tactics seemed to beat those of the receivers.
The deal was practically done. For the first time in months some info leaked. While we were waiting for the announcement negotiations continued. Maybe as some sources say it was about making some final adjustmens to the price but you can be pretty sure it was just a low single digit number of hours from the signing of a final deal when Youngman’s new bid spoilt everything.
Maybe NEVS should have acted quicker but personally I feel that it is pretty sick that the Swedish bankrupcy law forces the receivers to examine that last minute bid. In my view there should be a point in time when they could shut the process to make a deal ready for signing.
In the end this bid evaluation reloaded prolongs the process and annoys those who were about to sign a deal. I even dare to say that this is one of he main goals that youngman had. They lack credibility because of their track record in the whole process ever since they showed up a year ago. I do not see them become a frontrunner if there are other options.
I won’t start explaining my reservations about Youngman again, if you didn’t do already you can find it here. The fact that they showed up just costs time. It actually reminds me a bit of the time before bankrupcy when they always sent just enough money to preserve Saab from dying but not a cent more.
I really hope that NEVS stays in the game and maybe even Mahindra gets out of their passive mode. I still see the possibility for a good solution for Saab. But there is not another half year of time to find it. Tactics are a nessesary thing in business but there is also a time to fight out in the open. And I feel the time is now.