Updated: Pay back or else…

Reuters reported yesterday that EIB wants Saab to repay the loan within 90 days.

But a source familiar with the negotiations said one of the terms was that the EIB wanted Saab to repay the money it had borrowed within 90 days of the sale and leaseback deal being carried out.

Thanks to WM in the comments section for the tip.

Other media are reporting similar stories, but do not touch on the specifics.

From TTela:

Do you understand why EIB poses these requirements?

– No, it is completely inexplicable. Unless they want Saab to declare bankruptcy, says Carlström.

Update: TTela now reports that EIB wants to terminate the loan.

– We are working with alternative solutions to solve this problem. We have 100 lawyers working with the EIB-question, says Lars Carlström.

Di.se speak with Lars Carlström (Genii)

Lars Carlström is a name that should bring a smile to face of any Saab fan when they hear it. He worked with several different parties over the course of around 12 months, trying to buy Saab Automobile from General Motors. The most prolific consortium, of course, was the Genii group, with Genii Capital and F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone. There were even rumours at one stage, in the Swedish press only, that Genii and Spyker were lodging a joint bid for Saab.

Di.se have published an interview with Carlström today. I know from my own occasional correspondence with him (quite infrequent now) that he’s still very interested in Saab’s progress. I think that interest should come through in this interview.

Thanks to a few people in comments for the link.


UPDATE: I received an email from DI.se Editor-In-Chief, Linus Paulsson, requesting that the full translation I provided be removed from Saabs United (along with any other DI.se copyright material).

I have reduced the provision in this article to two important excerpts only, and am awaiting their permission, which I’ve requested, to restore the full article. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

“Deal of the Century”

….In January a year ago it was the home stretch in negotiations for Saab Automobile’s future. …. Financier Lars Carlstrom, who represented the Genii Capital, with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone on board, saw the Dutch Spyker, with CEO Victor Muller, emerge victorious from the battle…..

…..”This is the business deal of the century as I see it. GM had invested about 50 billion in Saab, and sold the company for pennies.”

……Now, a year after Saab got a new owner – how would you describe the time of the decision in January last year?

“It was a very strange situation and I do not understand why GM put such pressure on the process. The only explanation I have is a lot of pressure from the U.S. government.”

But GM still chose to reopen the closure decision to sell the site – why?

“For GM’s part would have been a better deal to the liquidation of Saab. Then you have no risk of preference shares, there was cash in the bank and so one might have sold off assets. But the attention around the company was enormous, not only in Sweden but also in the United States. “


That last part is particularly interesting – the interest around the sale of Saab.

Of course, there was a whole slew of news stories around the world about Saab Support Convoys being held in support of the company. That kept things in the news.

There were other news stories, too, such as the story broken here on SU about GM plans to ship 9-5 tooling to China (a story for which GM execs had to provide an answer at the Detroit Auto Show).

But Carlstrom had a massive part to play in this attention, too. There was no way that GM could get away with saying that interest in Saab wasn’t significant enough when there was more than one party interested in buying it, and especially if one of the members of that extra party is someone of the profile of Bernie Ecclestone.

This is a great piece for Saab and it’s very encouraging to see DI.se publish it.

Thursday Night Snippets

Gary McConnell is the guy who designed and offered up the yellow Saab Support Convoy banners that everyone displayed with such pride on their vehicles last weekend.
I’ve heard that he’s also doing some up for the NYC convoy this coming weekend, as well as preparing commemorative calendars and “We Were There” badges that people will be able access.
Gary, you deserve a big round of applause, mate.
His stuff is here.
There’s a fantastic, albeit small, gallery of images from the Dutch SSC here. The reason it’s both fantastic and small is because the photographer shot with film.
Remember film?
Saab’s suppliers gathered in Trollhattan a few days ago to demand some answers from General Motors about the future of the company.
If you find anything out, lads, please let us know 🙂
Genii’s Lars Carlstrom’s article in Dagens Industri yesterday drew a lot of support.
DI did a follow up article later in the day, citing 245 comments and most of those in support of Carlstrom’s view that Saab have been poorly supported in the press and the public arena.

“Bulls-eye,” says one reader, while others agree and think that Carlstr

Lars Carlstrom Saab editorial in Dagens Industri

The following is a Googletrans of an article written by Genii/Ecclestone co-ordinator, Lars Carlstrom. It appears online at Dagens Industri.

Any translation tips would be most welcome…..


Sweden betraying Saab
2010-01-20 07:41

The conditions for Saab have never been better. Yet it has been impossible to attract Swedish investors. They have taken on a negative and totally incorrect analysis, writes Lars Carlström, spokesperson for Genii.

Already in early 2009 pouring negative formulations of Saab Automobile from Swedish media. A media meltdown began, value-charged words like “finito” and “kaputt” flourished freely.

The values and facts that these pundits have based their statements on is hard to say. The most common claim, that Saab has been making losses in 20 years, were highlighted. Let us analyze what lies behind these:

An integrated Saab in GM was to optimize the GM’s performance – not Saab. It is considered to be amateurish to draw an equation between Saab Automobile AB’s results and performance of Saab’s entire global operations because a large proportion of consolidated revenues directly into the GM rather than the Saab.

Saab Automobile AB’s performance is a major component of the allocation and transfer pricing. Saab can not affect currency fluctuations as hedging, materials, production, sales geography and more centrally controlled within GM.

The purpose of this has again been optimizing GM’s results. Dependence on foreign exchange rates, primarily the euro, pound and dollar, has knocked Saab.

Production development plan, which also is controlled centrally, provides long life cycles in which the benefits of newer cars can not be realized. Saab outgoing 9-5-model is now 12.5 years old.

In a large multinational company like GM optimize the performance of the group and not individual units or brands. Nobody knows about Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet has made money through history.

The loan from European Investment Bank, EIB, has been a hot topic over the last year. The debate has been whether the state should step in and prop Saab with warranties or not. Opinions have been many.

However, the government decided to provide guarantees to the EIB for Saab. The risk of the state is very low because the State has pledges throughout the Saab. These burdens are mainly valued at scrap value. Assets far exceeding the 400 million euros, just over 4 billion, as the warranty covers.

All this should be remembered that this is a loan to be repaid. Market interest rate payable on EIB loan during its seven-year maturity. Saab is in the entire state duration of the guarantee to pay a premium to the State.

Furthermore, Saab will pay all state and EIB advisers. Likewise, Saab will pay for the personnel of the National Debt Office dealing with the matter.

This should be weighed against the imputed cost of unemployment, lost tax revenues and the destruction of Trollhättan with disastrous effects for the entire western Sweden.

Saab has today one of Europe’s most modern and most efficient car plants. Saab has two completely newly developed models, 9-5 and 9-4X. The company is debt free.

The prerequisites for Saab has never been better – with a business plan that has very good opportunities to make Saab into a leading automotive company in its niche. It is therefore difficult to understand how something so positive has been able to become so negative in the Swedish media. The analysis has been non-existent and has been based on cutting the Spirit rather than facts.

This whole downward spiral has led to almost have been impossible to attract investors to the Swedish Saab. Investors have taken on the medial and wholly inaccurate analysis has flourished.

Are we in Sweden, the world’s least nationalistic people?

Lars Carlström
Coordinator, Genii-Ecclestone consortium and a host of other initiatives for Saab

e24 interview: Lars Carlstrom (Genii bid for Saab)

e24 has conducted an interview with the Swede, Lars Carlstrom, who is the co-ordinator of the Genii-Ecclestone bid to purchase Saab Automobile.
They’ve granted me specific permission to post a translated version of the interview here at SU. My slightly edited Googletrans follows.
Here is the real estate man who tries to save Saab
2010-01-08 | Posted 13:34 | Updated 14:08
“Saab will be able to supply over 100 000 cars in a few years, this is by no means impossible,” says a previously unknown real estate entrepreneur, Lars Carlström, who along with Genii, and Ecclestone have made a bid for Saab. Previously, he worked together with Håkan Samuelsson and Jan Nygren to rescue the automaker.
There currently are two groups, but they started as one. In February and March 2009 the consortium was called Catherina and was part of the process. But a major financier jumped left and the consortium was forced to drop out.
Behind Catherina stood among other Hakan Samuelsson, former director of truck manufacturer MAN, Jan Nygren, a former vice president for war materials manufacturer, Saab, and real estate entrepreneur Lars Carlström.

Read moree24 interview: Lars Carlstrom (Genii bid for Saab)

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