Saab‘s largest union says it will not take immediate action tomorrow (2 September) as rumours start to gather pace in Sweden the stricken automaker may be on the verge of securing a massive bridging loan.
This Friday has been touted all week as D-day for Saab as it desperately seeks funds to pay employees and stave off potential bankruptcy proceedings from unions and suppliers alike.
Labour bodies have formally written to Saab detailing wage arrears for August, with the deadline for a settling of owed accounts appearing to be late tomorrow afternoon.
However, IF Metall, representing around 1,500 Saab members, at least seems to be exercising a degree of caution as speculation of a potential white knight in the shape of a bridging loan continues to gain momentum in Sweden.
“We have heard there is SEK1bn (US$156m), that the loan should be in reach in just a couple of days,” IF Metall lawyer Dario Davidovic told just-auto. “I hope that [they] have found the money and everything will be in order [to] deposit to the account, but we have heard it before.”
At the very least, IF Metall’s decision could allow Saab some breathing space this weekend, although to what extent the manufacturer’s other unions will follow suit remains as yet unclear.
Last night, Saab issued its starkest warning yet its future was under threat noting in half-year results that: “If adequate funding for the group cannot be secured [in] timely [fashion], going concern can likely not be maintained.”
The automaker reported a massive half-year operating loss of EUR210m compared to a previous EUR22m and despite the possibility of long-term financing through the auspices of Chinese distributor Pang Da and manufacturer Youngman, it now desperately requires an immediate cash injection to restart production which has been idle for several months.
US investment firm Endeavor Advisory Group, which has been hired by Saab, yesterday revived talk of a potential bridging loan to drag the automaker back from the brink.
“As far as Endeavor is concerned, a positive conversation is going on, in terms of Saab, in terms of the bridging loan,” an Endeavor spokesman in New York told just-auto.
Saab was not immediately available for comment.