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SWEDEN: 'Foul play' and 'plot' speculation add to Saab saga

By Simon Warburton | 24 October 2011

European automotive supplier association CLEPA says it is due to receive an update from Saab CEO Victor Muller this evening (24 October) as speculation swirls of 'foul play' in the automaker's latest developments to keep afloat.

Saab ended a deal with Pang Da and Youngman to purchase 100% of its shares as well as a subscription deal, but CLEPA says it now believes some of the speculation it has heard could have some foundation.

"Victor Muller of course has talked about foul play for two weeks," CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto. "I started believing there is some foul play going on in some plot to get rid of Victor Muller and most of all [Russian businessman] Vladimir Antonov as owners."

Saab administrator Guy Lofalk apparently travelled to Beijing recently to discuss the situation with Pang Da and Youngman, although it is not clear exactly what was on the agenda.

"To be very open about, I think...Lofalk has been telling them [Chinese] if they want they can buy Saab from the Swedish government by covering the value that they have been guaranteeing to the European Investment Bank which is something like EUR260m (US$362m), but that then they will get the full company," said Holmqvist.

"If this is foul play, obviously we have to think about it as suppliers as a whole. The suppliers will have to look after their money."

Despite the apparent rupture of the Chinese agreement, both Pang Da and Youngman representatives have been in Stockholm today to discuss the latest developments with Saab.

"There is no news coming out of these meetings," a Saab spokeswoman told just-auto. "If there is anything concrete to report, we will do that in a more official way.

The Vanersborg District Court was not available for comment.