Saab Discussing Loan Possibilities with the Swedish Government
Previously, the Swedish government said that is was “disappointed with GM” and that the government and taxpayers had no interest in purchasing a stake in Saab, one of two automakers native to Sweden. As the company may face its demise without some sort of cash infusion, the Swedish government may be reconsidering their stance.
Saab chairman Jan-Ake Jonsson said the firm is negotiating with the Swedish government over a €500 million ($637 million) loan guarantee. He also said there are a “handful of parties” interested in acquiring Saab. The interested parties include both carmakers and financial investors.
General Motors has officially acknowledged that it will be rid of Saab by year-end, which greatly disappointed the Swedish government. The government’s disdain for GM shows through in one of the loan conditions: it must be assured that none of the money will be transferred back to the parent company. Another loan condition, similar to those imposed by the U.S. government in giving Chrysler and GM loans, insists the government approve any proposed restructuring plan.
Although such plans are rather secret, we’d imagine Saab may use any loan money to calm issues involving both suppliers and Sweden’s Customs agency. The supplier issues have been reportedly been resolved, but the company still needs to pay a “considerable” sum for spare parts held up in two customs warehouses. Saab Automobile spokesman Eric Geers denied that the unpaid customs fees indicate Saab’s inability to pay bills. He said it was a matter of establishing an agreement with customs because “under a reconstruction, there are just some rules on how to do things.”
Source: Automotive News