SWEDEN: Government quiet as Saab bids for new finance
Sweden's government is remaining tight-lipped should Saab be taken out of bankruptcy protection next week by the Vanersborg District Court and as talks continue to secure new financing.
The government has underwritten EUR280m (US$374m) of loans provided by the European Investment Bank and has already paid out three months of salaries to Saab's nearly 4,000 employees following its entry into voluntary reorganisation.
It could equally have to pick up the tab should Saab finally go bankrupt, paying employees up to a maximum of SEK171,000.
"We are waiting for next week and [we will] see what Saab will say," a spokeswoman for the Swedish Enterprise Ministry told just-auto. "We are not part of the negotiations. Our role, as it has been all along, is that we have been helpful with different contacts.
"We have the same role now as well - we don't sit among the different parties of the table."
Saab CEO Victor Muller is in negotiations with Youngman and a potential Chinese bank to secure investment, but the administrator has applied to the Vanersborg Court to terminate bankruptcy protection.
"The focus - even if the situation is tough - is for Saab to find a positive solution," the government spokeswoman said. "What might happen if Saab would not be around any more so to speak - that is something we would comment on at a later stage.
"Of course we think it was a sad message [administrator request] that came [out] on Wednesday [7 December], but it shows how complex the process is and how many pieces have to fall in place before Saab finds a positive solution."
The Swedish Court website, Sveriges Domstolar, has also announced the administrator says Saab Automobile "incurs new obligations during the reorganisation, in violation of the instructions given and the provisions of Chapter 2, § 15 Act on corporate restructuring.
"SAAB Automobile has the opportunity to comment on the administrator notification by 15 December, 2011 at 13:00."
It is unclear what the new obligations are. Saab was not immediately available for comment.