Swedish Government’s Jöran Hgglund Optimistic About Saab Automobile’s Future

Posted on 20. May, 2009 by in 2000-2009

The Swedish Government’s State Secretary Jöran Hägglund, who has been fighting for Saab Automobile since late December of last year, has more optimism for Saab Automobile as mentioned with an interview with Reuters recently.

This is my best quote of the day from Jöran Hägglund’s colleague Frank Nilsson as a follow-up on Reuters to the piece below.

“If Saab finds a new owner there may be a bit of a gap (in financing),” enterprise ministry spokesman Frank Nilsson said.

“So we are prepared to go in during that period.”

I am glad to say that it looks like Saab Automobile will finally have a buyer for the Swedish Government to also chip in, but if there’s a gap like Mr. Nilsson said, the Swedish Government will help anyways!

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Swedish government is optimistic about the future of carmaker Saab after recent meetings with potential buyers of the loss-making General Motors (GM.N) unit, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

State Secretary Joran Hagglund told Reuters the center-right government had recently met with “a few” suitors who had presented their plans for the Swedish brand, but declined to say if it had held any meetings this week.

Saab said on Tuesday it had selected three suitors with whom it will continue take-over talks.

“Overall, we are more optimistic now than we have been for a long time regarding their future,” Hagglund said. He declined to reveal the identity of the suitors.

“They (potential buyers) have described who they are, how their plans look, and their thoughts and philosophies on both leadership and long-term considerations and really have wanted us to understand their intentions,” he added.

The comments come as GM said separately that it expects at least three offers for its German unit Opel by Wednesday’s deadline, with Italy’s Fiat eyeing plans to form Europe’s biggest automaker.

SAAB this week sought an extension to a period of creditor protection granted earlier this year during which it can restructure and look for a new owner. GM has said it would cut ties with the brand by the turn of the year.

Saab said negotiations would be carried out during the remainder of this month to select a final candidate.

Hagglund said the government would not provide financial support in the form of state loan guarantees until Saab had secured an owner committed to the brand.

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