Earlier today we received confirmation from SAAB GB that SAAB Automobile AB has filed for ‘voluntary reorganisation’ which is effectively bankruptcy protection.
This is very sad and we’ve written much about SAAB’s attempts to recover over the last two and a half years and commented on each new deal as it was done, reporting that this was bound to be the one that was going to secure their long term future.
However over 30 months after they first filed for bankruptcy protection, in February 2009 here they are again, back in the courts fighting to survive.
We reported in July 2009 that a deal had been done with Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg, have signed what’s referred to as a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with General Motors to purchase the Saab brand and that everything was going to be OK, only for the deal to later fall apart, leaving them in trouble again.
In February 2010 we reported a deal had been done with Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker who had agreed to pay General Motors $74 million dollars to take over the ailing Swedish car maker, securing the future of the brand and the jobs of around 5,400 factory workers in Sweden and the employees of Saab Great Britain.
In April 2011 Production at the Trollhättan factory in Sweden had halted over disputes with suppliers over the doubt that the company had the ability to pay its bills. Following a deal that involved Hawtai Motor Group taking a 29% share in Spyker Cars, they have invested £110 million into the business which has enabled manufacturing to resume. Production resumed in May 2011.
Today’s communication is as follows and isn’t in our words, but is an official statement:-
Saab Automobile announced today that it has filed for voluntary reorganisation under a self-managed, Swedish court-supervised process in order to secure short-term stability while simultaneously attracting additional funding and developing a long-term solution for the company.
As part of the process, Saab Automobile, together with the court-appointed Administrator, will formulate a detailed proposal for reorganisation of its business. This will be presented at a creditors’ meeting within three weeks of the filing.
Victor Muller, CEO of Swedish Automobile N.V. (SWAN) and CEO and Chairman of Saab Automobile, said: “Since securing the long-term funding through conditional agreements with Pang Da and Youngman, who both support this voluntary reorganization, we have focused on securing funding to bridge the period until we receive their funds. We have concluded that a voluntary reorganization process will provide us with the necessary time, protection and stabilization of the business, allowing short-term funding to be obtained and an orderly”
Saab GB will not be affected by this announcement.
Saab GB is an independent business and a separate UK legal entity to Saab Automobile, it is wholly owned by SWAN and is NOT part of the voluntary reorganisation filing. Saab GB will continue to operate the business in the UK as normal and has sufficient funding in place to meet all creditor obligations and will continue to pay all employees, dealers and suppliers as normal.
Saab GB and its dealer network will continue to provide servicing, replacement parts and vehicle warranty facilities for Saab customers as normal.