Saab has confirmed it has engaged Endeavor Advisory Group (EAG) in its quest to secure short-term financing and insists the deal with Chinese investors will happen this autumn.
The New York-based investment banking firm is the not the source of funding but is working with Saab to find further cash as the embattled automaker struggles to meet a previously-mooted 29 August restart date.
“We can confirm Endeavor Advisory Group,” a Saab spokesman in Sweden told just auto. “Obviously lots of [work] is going on to secure funding especially to get the bridge between…the Chinese coming in.”
The hiring of EAG is a rare piece of good news for Saab in a week in which the Swedish debt agency Kronofogden said it was examining the automaker’s bank accounts in order to ascertain current liquidity.
Supplier Kongsberg Automotive and consultants Infotiv are owed around SEK4m (US$621,000), but a missed payment deadline by Saab this Monday (15 August) sparked the bank move by Kronofogden.
News concerning potential Chinese investors Pang Da and Youngman has gone quiet during the summer months, but Saab maintains it is on track for them to come on board sometime this autumn, although this depends on regulatory approval.
“That will secure around EUR245m,” said the Saab spokesman. “The NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission People’s Republic of China) is involved and things go according to plan. “So somewhere in the fall – the only thing that is not going to be tomorrow.”
Describing distributor Pang Da as “extremely motivated and engaged,” the Saab spokesman added the Chinese operation had visited Sweden again and met the government.
Saab said it had an 11,000 strong order backlog and that further commitments “were still coming in.”
Any potential 29 August production restart would depend on financing and agreements with Saab’s many suppliers being put in place.
“The earliest would be week 35,” said the spokesman. “The suppliers is also a pretty complicated process – we have chosen not to communicate any date.”