Report: Spyker receive loan guarantees from Swedish government

HOLD YOUR HORSES!!!

E24 reports that the previous stories were a bit premature. Someone in the Swedish press jumped the gun (again).

Debt Office denies ‘yes’ to the Saab Spykeraffären “

2010-02-11 | Posted 11:40 | Updated 11:58

Riksgälden say yes to the Saab Spykeraffären in its final report to the Government, as reported by TV 4 News on Thursday. The data, however, belied by SNDO CIO Marja Long.

– We are not finished with the final examination of whether the conditions are met, “she told E24.

– When the review is completed, it will be handed over to the government that takes decisions on the state guarantees, continues Marja Long.

This is getting ridiculous.

The prior report is below……

——

Reports are starting to come through the Swedish news services saying that loan guarantees have now been confirmed by the Swedish government.

From TV4.se:

Riksgälden say yes to the Saab Spyker

Riksgälden say yes to the Saab Spykeraffären in its final report to the government.

– We judge that there is adequate security, “said Deputy Eric Sjulander to Nyhetskanalen.se.

Before the deal is finally completed, the Government must act on the matter and the European Investment Bank, EIB, approve loans of about four billion crowns.

Conservative valuation

Erik Sjulander, Deputy Director of guarantees and loans in the Debt Office.

– We have made a valuation which we hired expert help and had a conservative approach. That is, we use a low value and assume things that Saab no longer manufactures cars. And our assessment is that there is adequate security, “he Nyhetskanalen.se.

– If the government issues a loan guarantee so we think they should do it according to the recommendations we give in the report, says Erik Sjulander.

Hopefully this positive outcome will be the catalyst for an EIB decision in the very near term.

I’ll post more if it comes to hand.

Saab sale update – 11 February, 2010

As we’re nearing crunch time on the Saab sale, I figured it might be a good time to post an update as to the situation.

There are several important events that we’ll be waiting on over the next few days.

EIB Loan

The European Investment Bank approved Saab’s loan application back in October 2009, however a review has to be undertaken in order to approve Saab’s new ownership group, etc. It shouldn’t be a full review from scratch, however, but whilst the loan is primarily based on Saab’s business plan, the ownership structure is a material part of this and therefore the application has to reviewed in that light.

The European Union has given it’s tick of approval to the loan guarantees proposed by the Swedish government, which is one hurdle out of the way.

The only problem is that the Swedish National Debt Office hasn’t finished it’s final review of the Spyker ownership group, either. The Swedish government did make a preliminary offer of loan guarantees when the sale to Spyker was first announced, however these were subject to a satisfactory outcome of the full review.

Swedish National Debt Office staff have said they don’t foresee any big problems and they’re aware of the timetable.

So…..

  • European Union – done.
  • European Investment Bank – waiting
  • Swedish National Debt Office – waiting

——

Spyker

Spyker have had to do some tumble-turns in the last few weeks in order to get things…..in order.

Much to their own disappointment, arrangements have been made for the Antonovs to be been sidelined from their Spyker ownership stake.

Spyker initially secured funding from the Global Emerging Markets fund (GEM) for $25million, however it seems that in recent days, that line of credit has been replaced by convertible debt, provided by Hereema. GEM are a rather aggressive financier and their involvement may have been viewed as less than ideal by the powers that be.

Spyker still have to find another $24million, to be paid to GM in the middle of the year, but covering this amount is not considered to be a problem.

On February 12th, Spyker shareholders will sit in on an Extraordinary General Meeting, the agenda for which is included after the jump. The primary purpose of the EGM is twofold:

  1. To approve the proposed purchase of Saab Automobile
  2. To approve amendment to the company’s articles of association to accommodate a corporate name change, an increase in share capital and amendment to rights priorities.

It’s just a guess, but I’d say both of these should meet with the approval of shareholders.

——

So, in a nutshell, we’ve got two approvals yet to come, from the EIB and the Swedish Debt Office.

It’s be nice if they came in prior to voting at the Spyker EGM.

Then it’s on to closing the deal with GM on Monday 15th February.

EU approves Saab EIB loan

In a week from today, Spyker are due to close the deal for the purchase of Saab Automobile from General Motors. Today sees another hurdle overcome, another step closer.
DI.se are reporting that the European Union has reviewed and approved Saab’s loan application with the EIB. The purpose of the EU review is to confirm that the guarantees provided by the Swedish government do not contravene EU rules on state aid. Basically, it means that the loan is bona fide and can go ahead, providing the EIB itself approves the application.
Note: this is not the EIB approval itself. It’s just the EU giving it the go-ahead from their perspective. The actual EIB approval will need to come this week, along with final confirmation of the loan guarantees from the Swedish National Debt Office.
And a quick thought……. If this decision had come around November 20, Saab would be owned by Koenigsegg by now.
A googletrans:
——
EU approves state guarantee for loans Saab
Updated 2010-02-08 12:05
EU Commission on Monday approved the Swedish government plans to put out a guarantee that Saab Automobile to take a loan from the European Investment Bank for 400 million euros.
“The State guarantee will help Saab to implement its business plan without incurring any undue distortion of competition”, said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
A smaller proportion, 17.2 percent, are not considered state aid since it is provided under market conditions.
Most of the guarantee, 82.8 per cent, satisfying the requirements of the EU’s temporary framework for state aid measures, EU countries to facilitate the financing during the current crisis.
The consideration for the guarantee that Saab will pay is sufficient. So is the security that it provides for the eventuality that the guarantee.
The EIB loan will co-finance the Saab’s business plan at General Motors sales to Dutch Spyker. The loan will be used for an investment of 1 billion euros, including for fuel efficiency and automotive safety.
It is planned to Saab to pay a fee for the guarantee and provide a guarantee of high quality to the Swedish government, which covers the entire amount guaranteed.
Swedish State can redeem the security on the forced payment of guarantee money.
The level of fees paid during the term of the loan complies with the Commission’s provisional framework.
For part of the guarantee, the lower portion of 17.2 percent, the Commission found that the annual fee of 12.48 per cent with the market given the current risks of the transaction and other conditions.
The Commission’s conclusion was therefore that this part of the guarantee did not involve any state aid.

DN.se: problems not arising with Saab loan guarantee (but they’re still looking)

DN.se has spoken with Bo Lundgren, head of the Swedish National Debt Office, who it seems if finding no problems so far with his enquiries into the Saab-Spyker deal.

– I assume that nothing has happened that [will] destroy it. Our starting point is that this deal has not changed. We have made a final report and it is the case [that it will succeed] if we do not see that there is something that has become totally different, “said Lundgren.

He’s aiming to get his work done on time, too:

– Our ambition is to be ready next week, it’s thought that the deal will be finalized on February 15, “he says.

February 15 is the scheduled closing date for the transaction.

– What we do now is to look at the agreement reached with GM Spyker and Victor Muller and if that agreement is in accordance with the conditions we stated in our final report.

So the NDO has prepared a report for the government already based on what they knew and the government has approved guarantees based on that report. As long as there’s no big difference in the circumstances, the guarantees should stand.
Of course, all that doesn’t stop DN from asking all the doomsday Whatif’s, but that’s par for the course.

Saab, GM and the EIB loan

I feel like where a little bit at risk of paralysis-by-analysis and putting the chance to take action at risk, but there’s also a need for information as well. There’s been a lot of talk in comments about the EIB loan and how the Swedish government should be doing more to help this sale across the line.
I’d love to see them offer more, too, but I’ve chosen to allocate my own scarce resources in the effort to sway GM. Here’s why:
First reason: the Swedes have been clear about what they can and will offer, and my sources tell me that there’s been a lot of work done in the back rooms making sure they can offer it in a quick manner once the time is right.
Second reason: this decision on a Saab sale will be made by GM in the United States. No-one else is responsible for the decision to sell Saab but them and the bidders (who have to put in a viable bid).
Third reason: the Swedes can’t make a decision on the help they can offer a buyer until the buyer is identified by General Motors. GM’s latest ploy of putting buyers off until they come up with EIB-sized funds on their own is a ploy to put it back on the Swedes to help out. They’re creating a chicken-and-egg situation.
I understand that GM have to make sure their future partner in Saab will be viable (they will be business partners for years to come) but they need to identify that partner first, which is what all the pressure is about.
GM’s current task – decide between identifying this party or closing Saab down.

About the EIB process……
We covered this quite a bit back when Koenigsegg were in the driver’s seat (See here and here, for example).
The applicant for the EIB loan was Saab Automobile and the EIB loan was approved based on the business plan submitted, with the idea that Koenigsegg Group would be the owner.
The Koenigsegg Group are reviewed to some extent by the EIB but the focus on the owner is more of a matter for the Swedish National Debt Office.
The EIB really are in a low-to-no risk situation here. The business plan is reviewed quite thoroughly and yes, they want to look at the owner, too. But in the end, they’ve got the Swedish loan guarantees to fall back on so there is no financial fisk for the EIB (just political risk if they loan to someone they shouldn’t have and it all falls over). The EiB and the Swedes need to work together and as we wrote back at one of those previous links, if the Swedes give the tick of approval then the EIB will be fine and dandy.
The real risk is borne by the Swedish government, who get the National Debt Office to review the business plan and the prospective owner/operator prior to offering loan guarantees. They get security from Saab for the loan guarantees and that security far outweighs the value of the loan as long as Saab remain a going concern. If Saab are not a going concern, the value of the property securing the loan is greatly diminished.
As mentioned above, though, the Swedes need to know who the prospective owner/operator is and that decision comes down to General Motors.
I’m sure the Swedes have had discussions and done their homework on the major players who could become owners for Saab. But I believe they also need a decision from GM before they can put their size twelves on and really jump in there.
I’m not letting them off the hook here. I’m just trying to lay out the process. If this whole thing falls over then the Swedes should and will take a lot of flak for being slow in their dealings with Koenigsegg Group. But hopefully they’ve learned their lesson about being slow in the past and will be quick to move if the opportunity presents again.
The ball is in they buyers’ court right now, but they’re about to return to GM, who have the job of making the right decision.

SPYKER CARS RENEWS OFFER FOR SAAB THAT REMOVES LAST HURDLES

ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (20 December, 2009) – Following the announcement on
Friday that the intended sales terms of Saab Automobile AB between Spyker and General
Motors (GM) could not be finalized, the Spyker leadership has submitted a renewed offer
in the hopes of securing a future for Saab, its employees and the brand – despite the
announcement that the winding down of Saab would begin.
Spyker CEO Victor R. Muller said today that an 11-point proposal had been submitted to GM, addressing each of the issues that arose during the due diligence process and that the renewed offer would remove each of the obstacles that were standing in the way of a swift transaction.
“We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer,” said Muller.
“We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of December 31st”, said Muller.
“Despite our collective eleventh hour set-back, we are returning to the table with a renewed offer, that addresses every known issue brought to light during the initial negotiations and that has the full backing of the Saab Management. The new offer eliminates the need for an EIB loan approval prior to year end, for example, which will allow the deal to be concluded within GM’s deadline.
Our efforts are based on our passion for saving an iconic brand that we would be honoured to shepherd, and the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers around the world. Some 1,500,000 Saabs are on the road today and their proud owners would no doubt welcome the survival of this phenomenal brand”, he added.
In Spyker’s view, the ownership of Saab by Spyker Cars would add a lot of value to both parties. For Spyker, Saab would bring a strong, global distribution network consisting of no less than 1100 dealers, state-of-the-art production facilities, a truly dedicated work force and solid engineering, sourcing and research & development capabilities. Likewise, Saab would receive the financial backing required to compete as a competitive global brand, along with an entrepreneurial leadership team sensitive to the uniqueness, heritage and individuality of the Saab brand. Throughout these negotiations, both Spyker and Saab leadership have proven that they share a mutual vision for just such a partnership.
“Our company motto is nulla tenaci invia est via – for the tenacious no road is impassable,” said Muller, “And we intend to remain true to that throughout these negotiations as we bid to secure Saab’s future and revive the company.”
The renewed Spyker offer is valid until 5pm (Eastern Standard Time) on Monday December 21, 2009.

Spyker – waiting on the EU/EIB

Victor Muller has given a few brief quotes to the Bloomberg news agency today. It looks like we’re in the same position we were in a few months ago – just change the names and the exotic cars.

Spyker CEO Says EIB Is ‘Biggest Problem’ to Reaching Saab Deal
Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Spyker Cars NV’s plan to take over General Motors Co.’s Saab unit hinges on the European Investment Bank approving a loan before the end of this month, the Dutch luxury carmaker’s chief executive officer said.
Muller.jpg GM and Spyker are not the “potential problem for this transaction,” Victor Muller said in a phone interview from his home in Amsterdam today, adding that the EIB is potentially the “biggest problem.” So far, the bank has sent “neutral signals” on approving a 400 million-euro ($574 million) loan that is key to the sale and which the Swedish state must guarantee, he said.
“It’s mainly now down to the government agencies,” Muller said. “That’s really the main issue. We’re getting lots of support from the Swedish government.”
……Muller said Spyker is using Koenigsegg’s business plan in its bid for Saab. Spyker plans to keep Saab’s management if it wins the carmaker, he said.

It’s somewhat encouraging to hear that he’s feeling the love from the Swedish government. Given the heat that some of his group are taking from the Swedish media and the relatively small size of the group, it would be understandable if the government were feeling wary. I wrote about the risks involved with this transaction earlier today.
Three things I believe we’re waiting to hear:

  • Approval of the new owner from the EIB.
  • Approval of the new owner from the National Debt Office in Sweden (i.e. loan guarantees)
  • Clearance from the EU (still an issue, despite govt officials saying it was just two weeks away when Koenigsegg pulled out back on Nov 24)

I hope these people from various governments can give some assurance, and soon.

Thanks to Jeff in comments!

DI.se: Saab buyer must inject 3billion SEK

I can’t find this one online as yet, but a friend with access to a Bloomberg terminal has spotted this on the wires:

Spyker Must Inject $414 Million Into Saab, Dagens Industri Says
2009-12-17 06:43:13.880 GMT
By Niklas Magnusson
Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Spyker Cars NV and Convers Group have to inject 3 billion kronor ($414 million) into Saab Automobile to be able to buy the Swedish automaker from General Motors Co., Dagens Industri said, citing people with knowledge of the sale.
If they don’t come up with that money, the European Investment Bank may not grant Saab the loan its has applied for and the Swedish government may choose not to give Saab state guarantees for the EIB loan, the Swedish daily reported.

This hasn’t been confirmed anywhere as yet, but sounds quite reasonable and normal. Koenigsegg Group faced similar questions and requirements, leading to the stake taken by BAIC.
Another twist in the tale or something they’ve known and have covered?

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close