Yes, the Koenigsegg-Saab deal is done….

If you’re seeing this guy, you know it’s good (and early) news….
Goodmorning.jpg
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The Reuters report:

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s Koenigsegg has closed its purchase of money-losing Saab Automobile from General Motors Co GM.UL, but financing arrangements have yet to be finalized, a Swedish daily said on its website on Monday.
Dagens Nyheter, citing sources, said GM and Koenigsegg had agreed on a “very low” price for Saab, but the deal required the Swedish government to guarantee a loan by Saab from the European Investment Bank.
Spokespeople for GM Europe and Saab declined to comment and Koenigsegg was not immediately available for comment.
GM Europe announced in mid-June it had struck a deal to sell Saab to Koenigsegg and the sale was to close by the end of the third quarter.
“The price tag is non-existent but GM has a deal that grants them revenues as well if Koenigsegg manages to get Saab back on its feet,” Dagens Nyheter quoted a source close to Saab as saying.
The European Investment bank is expected to process Saab’s loan application by end-September.
Sweden said on Aug 7 it had received information on a possible pullout of investors backing the deal. But there has been no further statement by the government on the issue since then.

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The official announcement is yet to come.
I suggest you Swedes get a copy of Dagens Industri in the morning – there’ll be a full and exclusive interview with Augie Fabela about the situation.
There should also be an official press release at 7am (Swedish time, 3pm here in Oz) and some film that was shot late in the evening in Trollhattan, featuring Mr Von Koenigsegg himself.
Now, do remember the joy you felt?
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Last night I went to bed just after emailing Kroum at 1:18am and at that time, there was still another 13 hours and 42 minutes until embargo time (3pm, Aussie time).
It took just another 56 minutes before someone in Sweden broke the news – the first email landed in my inbox at 2:14am.
Yes, I knew this was coming, but I honored the embargo.
I did, however, tell one trusted Saab guy (ctm) before heading off to bed last night. He bet me that the comments section of Koenigsegg, wherefore art thou? would be full of the news before I woke up.
How right he was.
And thanks not only to Turbin for the 6.30am wakeup call, but also to all the people who emailed whilst I was sleeping…..

Wherefore art thou, Koenigsegg?

Excuse me.
Getting more thoughts out of my head……
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Blogs, like nature, abhor a vacuum.
Ever since it became apparent that Saab was going to separate from GM, we’ve been pondering, scrutinising and scribbling hundreds of thousands of words about the possible ownership scenarios.
It’s been an interesting, exciting and often frustrating time and no part of it has been more frustrating than the total silence on the part of the Koenigsegg Group. Apart from a few comments very early in the piece, they’ve been as quiet as a mouse.
There are probably some very good reasons for this; this is a seemingly small group taking over a large group – they’ve got a lot on their plate. Also, they’re under no obligation to talk publicly about the company whilst they’re still negotiating ownership of the company. They have confidentiality agreements to uphold. And they have information that they themselves want to keep confidential.
All of these could be relevant reasons, or they could be no reason at all. One thing I know, however, is that this silence hasn’t done them a lot of favours.
If they didn’t know it already (and I suspect they did), Saab is a company that has a larger following than its sales suggest. It’s a company that engenders a lot of sympathy and interest from the motoring public.
Given that situation, I think it would have been wiser for them to be more engaged and communicative. They could have set the boundaries and all would have been fine. Being in touch wouldn’t have hurt their cause one little bit. As the publisher of just one of the sites that gathers public opinion on this deal, I can confidently say that being out of touch has harmed their cause just a little.
Having said that, it would serve us all well to sit back, take a collective breath and remember……
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– Remember back one year ago when Saab were owned completely by GM and there was no light at the end of the tunnel as there is today.
– Remember back over all the years when Saab contributed so much to GM’s general portfolio, yet seemed only to receive the crumbs that fell from GM’s table.
– Remember how Saab became the butt of media industry jokes with the 9-2x and 9-7x, and how we became used to it.
– Remember how Saab built exciting concept cars years ago that were earmarked for production, only to have those plans killed.
– Remember Born From Jets
– Remember every freaking column-inch of newsprint that wrote Saab off for dead – from years ago right up to last week.
– Remember how mad it made people to see that Saab had lost much of its identity in the last half-dozen years. How much people wanted Saab to be Saab, to be Swedish again. To be distinct again.
– Remember back to when the possibility of separating from GM was first mentioned – did you feel exhilaration at the prospect?
– Remember (if) how you worried that Saab would fall into the hands of Fiat, where they might become just another brand, or Renco, where they’d be overshadowed by the reputation of their owner and cease to be the story themselves. Do I even need to mention the prospect of Chinese ownership?
– Remember when you first read that Koenigsegg were the successful bidders – how exciting it was than an exotic, desireable car company was going to be involved in the running of Saab. Perhaps even more to the point, how exciting it was that a Swedish company was going to be in control of the running of Saab.
– Remember the excitement that every spyshot of the 9-4x and 9-5 brought to your screen. Remember the frenzy that was the early release of real photos of the new Saab 9-5.
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We get frustrated by the lack of fast-moving news. We get frustrated because we want so much to get engaged with this company and see it do well. We get frustrated because we know – in our bones – the potential that a company with a philosophy and following like Saab has.
Take some time in the next 24 hours or so to think on those things above. Take some time to enjoy the knowledge that even though it’s going to be tough once this deal is announced, Saab will be back in the game. They’ll be Swedish, they’ll be free to make many of their own choices and that freedom will only grow with time.
Take some time to consider the 2010 Saab 9-5. I know there’s been a few people feeling a bit down about it in recent weeks – the naysayers have outnumbered the cheerleaders, that’s for sure – but I can guarantee that there won’t be one person that reads these pages who won’t turn around for a second, third and fourth look when they first see one on the street. You might never be a prospective customer for one (due to money and a preference for smaller cars, I know I won’t) but you’ll stare at it just like I will – and I think the vast majority will like what they see when the real thing finally hits the street.
60 years of doing it tough didn’t kill Saab. Even 20 years of GM control couldn’t kill Saab. Saab are the three-legged dog of the car industry – very lovable and hard to kill.
Koenigsegg are coming. They’re coming soon.
And me? I’m looking forward to ending this waiting time and watching the future unfold.
Koenigsegg Saab

Saab have a big week coming up

We’ve stabbed at guesses for big weeks in the past, such as the week when Koenigsegg lost their exclusivity over the bidding process a number of weeks ago. There was an outside chance that someone might slip in and contest the situation, but it was never to be.
This week, there’s no guesswork involved whatsoever. Saab have a deadline and something will happen.
That deadline comes, effectively, on the 19th. If Saab are going to ask for an extension to their reconstruction process, they have to do it before the 20th August.
Everyone’s got their theory on what’s going to happen, and what it might mean. Naturally, I’ve got mine, too.
It’s my belief that Saab will NOT file for an extension to their reconstruction period, and if they do file for an extension, then i’ll start to get worried.
I think Saab will exit reconstruction this week and that it won’t be long thereafter until a deal is signed with the Koenigsegg Group to take ownership of the company. I think they’ll do whatever they can to get this stitched up as soon as possible.
Saab are in a position to exit, primarily because of one thing – the accord they reached with creditors to wipe off 75% of their debts, with a delay of 12 months on payment of the remainder. With that agreement in place and Saab’s business plan and workforce organised, there is no real reason to stay under the protection of the court.
In fact, there is at least one very good reason to get away from it.
It’s my understanding that whilst Saab are in reconstruction, they have to pay their new accounts within six days of the debt being incurred. Saab sales are low and the cars they make today may not accrue income for some time, hence a similar amount of lead time for new accounts payable would be beneficial for their cashflow situation.
Upon entering reconstruction earlier this year, GM endowed Saab with what was calculated to be enough cash to get through until the end of the year. With production at a low 100 units a day, they should be able to manage OK, and the exit from reconstruction should actually help.
If the K-Segg deal is coming to closure by the end of September, as has been stated by Saab to be the plan, then there’s no need to extend the reconstruction period for another three months.
On the other hand, if they do file for an extension, that would tell me that the deal with Koenigsegg Group is not close enough to being done. That would tell me that Saab actually need another three months protection from creditors.
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One way or another, something is going to happen this week. Hopefully that something will actually be…..nothing.
i.e. No extension filed. Just a smooth exit from court protection to regular operation, with an announcement on the K-Segg deal imminent.
And a big collective sigh of relief will be breathed by all……

Saab News – The crazy week that was

Personally speaking, this week has been a whirlwind.
I’ve done 70% of a build on a website for my wife’s paintings, 60% of a build for the SU Historic Rally Team website as well as all the usual stuff like this site, day job work, family, etc. Actually, the family probably got a bit neglected this week. Oh, and I had a 99Turbo purchase buzzing through my head in all that, too.
The net result of this is probably sub-par coverage where the events of the last few days are concerned. Some articles have been followed up and finished off in comments rather than on the front page, which is not the way things should be.
So I thought it important to summarise the news of last few days as it’s been a pretty hectic time.
And don’t worry, many of the major English-speaking outlets are just getting around to covering the Koenigsegg Group ownership saga from last Friday, so you’re still ahead of the non-Swedish-media curve.
On someone leaving the Koenigsegg Group….
The story first broke in GP.se last week that the K-Segg deal for Saab was in danger because one of the K-Segg Group owners was leaving the group.
Joran Hagglund (Industry Ministry Secretary), whilst simultaneously damaging the reputations of both Saab and Koenigsegg, did claw back a little and stated that the departure of one stakeholder was not likely to scuttle the deal.
Dagens Industri seem to be the first publication to name the departing K-Segg Group member as 22% owner, Mark Bishop.
No-one inside the group has officially commented on this, but on-one has denied that someone is leaving, either.
IF Metall union boss, Paul Akerlund, expressed confidence straight away that the deal would still get done.
Questioned for the first time about reorganisation in the context of the different group dynamic, Gunilla Gustavs from Saab indicated that “Saab would leave reconstruction when the time is right….” Saab’s original intention was to not seek a further extension to reorganisation protection, which is due before August 20.
Dagens Industri write again that it is Mark Bishop who has sold his shares in K-Segg Group. Still, this hasn’t been confirmed by anyone in the company.
At the same time, Paul Akerlund is confident that the deal will be ready to be done within 2 weeks. He says that he knows nothing of Bishop jumping ship, but knows that negotiations are ongoing and that even if Bishop sold his stake, he doesn’t see how that would change.
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On K-Segg’s Finances and EIB Loans….
Things went into overdrive after ‘the Bishop saga’.
Much to everyone’s chagrin, there were still no statements forthcoming from anyone in the Koenigsegg Group, however there were more “inside sources” from the Industry Ministry who were willing to have a chat.
Thus the news that Augie Fabela, Chairman of the Koenigsegg Group, would be meeting with the Swedish Industry Ministry through the week. Now people familiar with proceedings say they’re meeting with someone from Saab or Koenigsegg virtually every day, but this seemed to be something more.
…possibly around $500million more.
Eric Geers said at this time that we will have to wait to see what the final ownership structure would look like, but that Koenigsegg group were strong and ambitious.
Augie Fabela started to emerge as the driving force within the Koenigsegg Group. As such, you should get to know him a little.
DN.se reported that the government now has a clear picture of who’s behind the K-Segg Group, though all concerned still refused to confirm that it was Mark Bishop who sold his stake.
Meanwhile, Koenigsegg sent their business plan for Saab to the European Investment Bank (EIB). This information will be added to application materials already submitted by Saab.
The next meeting where the EIB loan can be approved is September 22. Of course, the Swedish government probably need to provide loan guarantees prior to that.
We also got someinsight into the EIB loans process, where the EIB painted themselves to be quite nasty banking overlords.
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Saab vehicle production news
Last night a story from DI.se claimed that a need to save money whilst the Koenigsegg deal was awaiting completion had forced Saab to delay the introduction of the 2010 Saab 9-5.
Saab’s union bosses, and later Saab’s PR people, indicated that this story was inaccurate. They also highlighted that 9-3x production had commenced, on schedule.
And finally, when I woke up this morning, there was an email from a European dealer stating that 2010 Convertibles could now be ordered again as production would stay in Graz for some time rather than being moved to Trollhattan.
Saab’s consolidation of production in Trollhattan was a key part of it’s future business strategy, but perhaps the reason for Koenigsegg getting their Business Plan into the EIB only this week is because that strategy might have changed. Maybe they have some other plans for the capacity at Trollhattan?
I’ve written to Saab seeking more information about convertible issue.
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I think most of these issues were resolved to a large degree, however there are a few questions remaining:

  1. Did Mark Bishop really sell his stake in the Koenigsegg Group?
  2. Is convertible production staying in Graz for the time being?

Saab 9-5 may be delayed

UPDATE – Union heads in Trollhattan dispute this report from DI.se.
See comments (thanks Dippen!)
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Memo to everyone concerned with getting this deal done – PLEASE GET YOUR $#%! TOGETHER – AND SOON!!!
Saab have been working on a reduced production plan for some time. They had hoped to double production a month or so ago and sought government assistance to allow this to happen, but that was knocked back.
Now, in order to preserve funds until the Koenigsegg deal gets done, Saab may have to delay plans for the 9-5s production launch, which was due in th northern Spring next year.
DI.se reports via Blogo (thanks for the better trans!):

Saab Automobile freeze numbers of development projects to save money. This week the planned launches of several new models were moved into the future. The planned increase in production volumes scheduled for after the holidays is also postponed. Following August 24 production will continue at the low volume level of 100 cars per day.
But the Saab 9-3X will be put into production immediately after the holidays, writes Dagens Industri.
The new 9-5 that was to be launched during spring next year may well be delayed, according to DI.
The reason for these measures is that Saab Automobile will do everything to stay afloat while waiting for the future owner, the Koenigsegg Group, and the Government should agree on the terms of the acquisition of Saab.
Cuts and deferred projects places a number of consultants with major Saab contracts in trouble. Recently Saab consultants Aspinova and Idéteknik Lundgrens have gone bankrupt. A few days ago it was announced that the German technology consultant RHL had put its Swedish subsidiary into bankruptcy.
Consultant Epsilon have previously this year been forced to terminate employees and now expect further cuts among its approximately 1000 vehicle consultants.

I imagine the delay might be related to the delivery and installation of tooling for the 9-5. It’s an expensive proposition and without more certainty over when it can all start, the delay might be the best way for Saab to stretch the money that GM gave them to last the rest of the year.
I hope these people can pull their stuff together soon.

About the EIB loan process….

The next all-important step for Saab and the Koenigsegg Group (well, if you don’t count convincing the government you’re for real) is the application process for the $600m they’re after in loans from the European Investment Bank.
Whilst many consider this a fait accompli as long as the government’s on board with a guarantee, the EIB would like you to think otherwise.
This article on Saab and the EIB comes from E24. JV was kid enough to provide a translation for us, reproduced below:
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Saab must squeeze through a needle’s eye
“We don’t have lower requirements than a normal bank. Historically, it’s rather been the other way around”, says Eva Srejber, vice president of the EIB, which will evaluate Saab’s application for a loan of over 4 billions [SEK].
Yesterday, the investors behind Koenigsegg Group sent in information to the EIB about what the new Saab could look like after an acquisition.
Among other things, the information contains an income statement, balance sheet, new financial plan, predictions of future incomes and a stress test.
This is the same information that was presented to, among others, the [Swedish] governments representative Jöran Hägglund during yesterday’s meeting with the Koenigsegg consortium. Since for the EIB to grant the loan, it’s required that the [Swedish] government will step in as a guarantor.
But it’s not an extra nice bank that will to handle the loan application to finance research and development projects aiming to develop more environmentally friendly cars.
– We want our money back and we don’t have lower requirements than a normal bank. Historically, it’s rather been the other way around. That a company gets a loan granted by us has rather been seen as a quality seal by other banks, says Eva Srejber, vice president of the EIB, who will be present during the assesment of the loan application.
And now the more or less secret investors behind Koenigsegg Group will be scrutinized.
– Of course we’ll go through everything very carefully. It’s the company itself that must have a long term survivability. We in the EIB management, and the bank’s board of directors, must think it’s probable that the company can repay the loan, says Eva Srejber.
The EIB has it’s own transport economists that will review the application from an economical and financial perspective.
– Among other things, we weigh the strength of the balance sheet, predictions of future incomes, and possible securities and guarantees. We have political goals, but within these political goals we work just like any other bank.
But if the [Swedish] government / the Swedish National Debt Office decides to guarantee the loan, then it’s no doubt about you granting it?
– The management of the EIB will always make it’s own assessment. But the bank is owned by the 27 EU countries and representatives for the countries’ governments is in the board of directors. It’s unlikely that the Swedish National Debt Office and the EIB will reach different conclusions. Both have an interest in the loan being repaid.
How strict is the assessment regarding which projects you approve?
It can be a number of things that makes a car more environmentally friendly. It can be the tires, the weight or the shape of the car or the entire drive train, the engine or the type of fuel. We can also finance development projects to research cars that are safer, to reduce the number of accidents.
But certainly, all research is about developing safer and more environmentally friendly cars. It sounds like you could consider supporting all research at a automotive company?
– You are right that most automotive companies are doing research towards less environmental impact. And this is because there are future requirements that the cars must fulfill. It’s our engineers that will evaluate which projects that we can approve, says Eva Srejber.
But even if the EIB will grant the loan application, the financial problems won’t be solved for Koenigsegg Group.
The company can only finance half of the project costs with loan from the EIB.
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The sound like pushovers to me. If the government’s in, they’re in. It’s a no-lose situation for them once the guarantee is in place.
My thanks to Jakob for the translation!

Latest: Koengisegg/Saab, the EIB and Swedish government

Holy cow! You have on decent night’s sleep and there’s news everywhere!
To recap what’s popped up in comments and on the web……..here’s your summary, under the following headings:

  • More money needed?
  • Ripplewood waiting in the shadows?
  • DN.se coverage (meetings and EIB)
  • Merbanco to the rescue?

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More money needed?
Bloomberg reported the following overnight:

Koenigsegg Group is in talks with Sweden and General Motors Co. about getting more funding than originally sought for its potential takeover of Saab Automobile.
GM and Koenigsegg are holding discussions with Swedish officials focused on guarantees for European Investment Bank loans, Haakan Lind, a government spokesman, said in a telephone interview today.
Koenigsegg, which was chosen as favorite bidder for Saab on June 11 and is in exclusive talks with GM, raised its demands for funds from Sweden and the Detroit-based carmaker to a total of $1.5 billion from $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be identified because the talks are private.

There are plenty of news sources reporting the meeting between Hagglund and Koenigsegg, but Bloomberg is the only service reporting a need for extra funding.
This tells me they’re either extremely well connected, or they’re wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time a published news service has been wrong about events in this deal……
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Ripplewood waiting in the shadows?
Our old mate from Expressen is back and once again, he’s seeing smoke where there’s no fire.
Jan-Erik Berggren follows the popular but refuted notion that one partner leaving the Koenigsegg Group means that the whole thing is about to fall like a house of cards, then goes on to say the Ripplewood (RHJ) is waiting in the wings.
He also states that RHJ were one of the original three parties that GM negotiated with prior to settling on Koenigsegg Group.
Let me be very clear to those who have lent this guy some reading time: Saab’s future with RHJ is unknown to anyone, including people at Saab, I’d dare say. There’s plenty of water to go under the bridge with Koenigsegg before any other players would get into this market, and RHJ have their hands full with bidding for Opel.
RHJ were not one of the final three parties that negotiated in Geneva for preferred status with Saab. Those three parties were Renco, Merbanco and Koenigsegg. Berggren’s recent writings are a perpetuation of his own theories – and nothing more.
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Of course, the need for extra funding, if it exists, might signal that Koenigsegg are more abitious in their plans with Saab than anyone realised.
The automotive market is going to be extremely tough in the next few years. Accelerated/expanded model range, anyone?
That’s just a theory, not purported as fact.
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DN.se coverage
Dagens Nheyter have a couple of reports; one is on the meeting between Koenigsegg and the Industry Ministry, and another report is on the EIB process (both in Swedish).
Some snippets about the meeting, from a Googletrans:

Ministry of Industry would like to officially neither confirm or deny today’s meeting between Secretary of State Jöran Hägglund and representatives of Koenigsegg Group. But a meeting has taken place, the government wanted to clear up the uncertainties surrounding the ownership and financing.
– We had a need to get a grip on what they think and what there is of money behind this, “says a centrally placed source at the Industry Ministry to TT.
The data in the media that one of the owners of Koenigsegg Group should have sold its shares will now be fully investigated. Now the government has a clear idea of who is behind the consortium. The source would, however, not confirm details of the dropoff he would be the American businessman Mark Bishop.
Jöran Hägglund has previously asked for a “credible financing” to the state should put up guarantees for the deal between Koenigsegg Group and Saab-owner GM.
Håkan Lind, Head of Department, says that the work of investigating the question of possible state guarantee for Saab’s loan application from the European Investment Bank (EIB) of 4.3 billion goes as planned.
– We have the ambition to have all decisions clear to the Bank Board meeting September 22, “says Lind.

So:
The meeting has happened, they have a better idea of the group and their funding, they won’t confirm it’s Bishop who’s left and they’re working their collective butts off to get a clear picture to the EIB in time.

Some snippets on the EIB process:

Koenigsegg Group’s business plan for how to buy and operate the Saab has landed at the European Investment Bank. “We have received financial information and the staff is examining it to see if it contains the information we need,” says Eva Srejber, Deputy Head of the EIB.

Note, this is background info on Koenigsegg Group, not the actual loan application. That’s how it looks, at least.

On September 22, the Bank’s next board meeting. The earliest, then a decision to grant the loan is taken. But several obstacles remain. Riksgälden have frequent contacts with the Koenigsegg Group on modalities for the state guarantees for the loan. In addition to Riksgälden must complete negotiations the European Commission must give the green light before the Bank can pay out any money.


Anf finally, some snippets from the same article about “The Ghost” who’s reported to have left the Koenigsegg Group:

It was the end of last week as Secretary of State of the Industry Ministry, Jöran Hägglund, revealed that a person behind the Koenigsegg Group wanted to withdraw from the purchase of Saab. The reason according Jöran Hägglund be the great attention that the store received in the media.
According to reports in several media, it is the American businessman Mark Bishop who has had cold feet. Yet, there has been no change in Bolagsverket of executives in the Koenigsegg Group. This means that Mark Bishop still formally is a board member of Koenigsegg Group.
According to Gunilla Gustavs, spokesperson for Saab, there is an agreement not to comment on ownership until the deal is completed.
Why this secrecy?
– It is not secret. It is so that all parties want that no one should comment on the negotiations or the ownership structure along the way, “says Gunilla Gustavs.

This is all quite intruiging.
Hagglund was quite clear that someone has left the group last week. If that turns out to be false information, I’d imagine he should be placed in a position to answer for his actions: speaking out of turn and speaking falsely.
I find it hard to believe he could be wrong, however. If he were, I assume that there would have been something, anything, forthcoming from Koenigsegg to correct the statement. Considering the negative fallout that ensued, that would have been a must.
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Merbanco to the rescue?
Several have mentioned in comments the hope that Merbanco might come in and take up the stake that’s reportedly been abandoned/sold by one of the Koenigsegg Group’s initial owners.
With that in mind, I shot off a quick email to Chris Johnson of Merbanco.
His reply:

Thanks for your kind note and I hope you are well. Our group remains interested in quality opportunities where our wide experience in the distressed/turnaround arena, distribution, and value creation can be deployed for the long term. We are always delighted to discuss such opportunities. I can confirm we have not been approached on, nor are we engaged in, any overseas opportunities at this time. That said, we remain fans of Saab.

My thanks to him for the response.

Today’s Koenigsegg story from Dagens Industri (print edition)

Earlier today, I bought you a quick summary note from Dagens Industri. They were writing in their print edition – not online – that Mark Bishop was the person leaving the Koenigsegg Group, and that someone else was buying his share.
The guy behind that email was Carl-Henrik and he’s been kind enough to do a full transcript as the article is still not available online.
The transcript follows, and there’ll be a “You make the news” entry later in case there’s any follow up from this whilst I’m sleeping (yes it happens).
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SAAB BUYER SWITCHES DRIVER
Koenigseggs chairman Aguie Fabela takes command in the deal
The North American investor Mark Bishop has sold his shares in Koenigsegg Group, who are negotiating with General Motors about the takeover of Saab Automobile. That is what a central placed source says to DI. At the same time Koenigseggs chairman Augie Fabela breaks the silence about the Saab-deal.
“We will be able to present more news later. I’m not able to comment on the ownership situation right now” – says Augie K Fabela. More than that is he not willing to say. But it is still a sign that the Koenigsegg consortium wants to change the image of their secrecy as the deal enters a critical level.
The Koenigsegg Group chairman Augie K Fabela is also more and more showing himself as the driving force in the take over of Saab. He met the leadership at Saab last Wednesday and gave a long and detailed presentation of the plans. Among many things were talks about development of new technology, the possibilities to use GM’s technology and development of new models. “It is Augie Fabela that is the central person and not Mark Bishop. The negotiations continue as planned”, says Eric Geers, information-director at Saab Automobile, that was on the meeting.
The shares has a new owner
Augie Fabela has made a fortune on the Russian-Norwegian telecom company Vimpelcom. At the same time it is said that Mark Bishop has sold all his shares in Koenigsegg Group. “A new owner has taken over his shares and the negotiations between General Motors and Koenigsegg Group continues according to plan” – says the DI source.
Mark Bishop was with his 22 percent the second largest owner in the company. Judging by everything he has been affected by the large amount of attention from media and withdraws from the deal with GM / Saab Automobile.
Doesn’t effect
It is uncertain who it is that has taken over the control of the shares of Mark Bishop. Several sources emphasizes that it wont effect the deal. That suggests that it is a strong capital owner that has stepped in.
If the main owner the Koenigsegg family would have taken over the shares it would have become more difficult to finish the deal as the economical strength would have been considerably weaker. “I can’t comment on that” – says Halldora von Koenigsegg on Koenigsegg Automobile.
An important meeting between the Swedish government, Saab/GM and Koenigsegg Group will take place this week. There they will discuss the guarantees of the Swedish government for the EIB-loan on 4.3 billion Swedish kronor that Koenigsegg and Saab Automobile wants.
“Yes, that is correct. We will meet the Swedish government in a meeting this week. Negotiations continues as planned” – says Halldora von Koenigsegg. “The direction of Saab is very positive about together with Koenigsegg Group be able to present enough good securities for getting this loan” – says the DI source.
Even General Motors emphasizes that the negotiations continue. “Nothing has changed. We are negotiating with Koenigsegg Group about a binding agreement to buy Saab Automobile. That is planned to be finished during the third quarter this year” – says Karin Kirchner, spokesperson on General Motors Europe in Zürich.
Tried to hide it
DI can today also reveal how the newly founded Koenigsegg Group tried to hide both Mark Bishop’s and Augie K Fabela’s names when the information about the company’s board was handed in to Bolagsverket (The Swedish Authority that handles company registrations – my note) in the beginning of June.
“Classifying the information as secret would in this case should be applied by the authority (Bolagsverket – my note) when… these persons can be exposed for violence or suffer considerable or other if the information is revealed” – wrote Koenigsegg hired company consultant firm Bolagsrätt to Bolagsverket in the procedure of register Koenigsegg Group. The request was later withdrawn after discussions between the parties.
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My thanks to Carl-Henrik for this translation!

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