Tag Archives: European Commission


Posted on 08. Feb, 2010 by .


As the Swedish Government and the Swedish National Debt office have approved the EIB loan, yet another critical milestone has been approved.

Today, the EU Commission have also approved the EIB loan. This now leaves the final step in this long awaited process up to the EIB themselves to approve the loan this week.

Here’s the official press release by the EU Commission as well as Sweden’s Dagens Industri,

State aid: Commission approves Swedish State guarantee for Saab

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, plans notified by Sweden to provide a guarantee that would enable Saab Automobile AB to access a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Commission found that 82.8% of the guarantee to be provided by Sweden was in line with its Temporary Framework for state aid measures, which gives Member States additional scope to facilitate access to financing in the present economic and financial crisis (see IP/08/1993 ). In particular, Saab will pay an adequate remuneration for the guarantee and provide sufficient securities in case the guarantee would be drawn. It is therefore compatible with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which permits aid to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State. The remaining 17.2% will be provided on market conditions and therefore does not constitute state aid.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “The state guarantee will contribute to the implementation of Saab’s business plan without giving rise to any undue distortions of competition.”

The loan to be granted by the EIB would co-finance Saab’s business plan in the light of its sale by current owner General Motors to Dutch carmaker Spyker Cars N.V. According to the business plan, Saab intends to use the EIB loan of €400 million for an investment project worth €1 billion related to inter alia fuel efficiency and car safety.

Saab would pay a premium for the guarantee and provide the Swedish Government with high-quality collateral covering the full guaranteed amount. This collateral could be called upon by the Swedish state if it had to pay out any money under the guarantee. The level of the premiums paid during the lifetime of the loan would be in line with the provisions of the Commission’s Temporary Framework. For a part of the guarantee, the Commission found that, in the current market situation and taking into account the other conditions of the transaction, a premium of 12.48 % per annum constitutes the market price for the risk involved in issuing such a guarantee. The Commission therefore concluded that this part of the guarantee did not involve state aid.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number N 541/2009 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News .


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Spyker Cars Says EIB Loan Is Biggest Problem

Posted on 17. Dec, 2009 by .


Bloomberg reports that Spyker CEO, Victor Muller says that the European Investment Bank (EIB) loan is their biggest problem.

Evidently, this is the most time consuming aspect of the entire deal for the company. In addition, the CEO also indicates that the EU and the Swedish National Debt Office are also slow to move on things.

What I am concerned with is that most of these places are entering the holiday season at this time, so will they be even slower? When you hear a quote from the EIB stating that ” It’s possible that the European Commission will reach a decision this month” , it makes you wonder if they really care to get this resolved by December 31st? If they don’t grant the loan before then, and the deal is not signed immediately following the loan being granted, it’s over.

Furthermore, one would have thought that all of these parties would have been motivated to work harder, faster & smarter since the Koenigsegg failed due to all of these parties moving slower to begin with. We can’t have a repeat of the same process again, only to be bottle necked again by the same slow-moving bureaucracies.

Here’s hoping that the EIB, EU and the SNDO can get their act together ASAP.

Spyker CEO Says EIB Loan Is Biggest Saab Deal Hurdle (Update1)

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Spyker Cars NV’s plan to buy General Motors Co.’s Saab unit hinges on the European Investment Bank approving a loan before the end of December, the Dutch luxury-car maker’s chief executive officer said.

GM and Spyker are not the “potential problem for this transaction,” Victor Muller said in a phone interview from his home in Amsterdam today, adding that winning EIB support before year-end is the biggest obstacle. So far, the European Union’s lending arm has sent “neutral signals” on approving a 400 million-euro ($574 million) loan that is key to the sale and which the Swedish government must guarantee, said Muller.

“It’s mainly now down to the government agencies,” Muller said. “That’s really the main issue. We’re getting lots of support from the Swedish government.”

Spyker, the maker of $235,000 sports cars, emerged as the frontrunner to buy Saab this month after Koenigsegg Group abandoned its bid on Nov. 24. GM’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Whitacre said on Dec. 15 that the Detroit-based carmaker will shut the unit if it doesn’t reach a deal with Spyker by the end of this month. GM has separately agreed to sell some technologies for Saab’s 9-3 and 9-5 models to Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co.

The EIB was not immediately available for comment.

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Saab Automobile’s EIB Loan With European Commission

Posted on 05. Nov, 2009 by .


Here’s an article from The local about Saab Automobile’s EIB Loan process with the European Commission.

Please note this was written by the Local, not expressing any opinions or facts.

An emergency loan vital to completing the sale of Saab Automobile has been held up by questions from the European Commission, possibly jeopardizing the proposed deal.

The Commission has a number of questions about the state guarantees provided by Sweden in connection with the loan, which recently won approval from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The scrutiny from officials in Brussels means the deadline for final approval of the loan could be pushed back as late as January.

Saab’s current owners, US-based General Motors (GM) has been clear about wanting to sell the troubled unit by the end of the year at the latest.

Having the loan in place is a prerequisite for luxury Swedish carmaker Koenigsegg and China’s BAIC to complete their proposed purchase of Saab.

According to a document reviewed by the TT news agency, the European Commission wants assurances that Saab did not have economic problems last summer which could have impeded eligibility for state subsidies.

In addition, the Commission wants additional information about the model used by the National Debt Office (Riksgälden) in showing that Saab was eligible for state guarantees for the entire loan.

The Swedish government can only begin to examine whether it will actually guarantee the approximately 4 billion kronor ($570 million) loan after the Commission issues its ruling.

Until then, Saab won’t have access to the money and the deal which would make Koenigsegg Group the automaker’s new owner can’t be completed.

An initial agreement signed by GM and Koenigsegg Group in June included language stipulating that the deal would be completed by the end of September.

Earlier this autumn, Saab CEO Jan Ã…ke Jonsson warned that the sale would not be complete until the end of October.

Now Saab spokesperson Eric Geers has indicated that a few more weeks may elapse before pen can be put to paper – but everything hinges on a decision from the European Commission.

After receiving the additional information now requested from Sweden by the Commission, it has two months to issue a ruling on whether or not to approve the loan.

With the material not expected to be in the hands of the Commission before November 17th, it may take until January for a final ruling, although the Commission may reach a decision earlier.

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European Investment Bank Loan Approved For Koenigsegg & Saab!

Posted on 21. Oct, 2009 by .


The European Investment Bank has approved the $400 Million Euro loan for Saab Automobile AB!

This monumental milestone is now going to help finalize the sale of Saab from GM to Koenigsegg.

The next steps in this loan process are for the European Commission to accept it, then for the Swedish Government to endorse the loan as a guarantor, then it’s a done deal.

Today is a great day, we should all look forward to the sales process being wrapped up shortly once the next few steps are completed.

Here is the official press release from the EIB’s website as Saab Automobile has yet to make a public statement.

EIB Board approves further EUR 600m in loans for the automotive industry

* Release date: 21 October 2009
* Reference: 2009-207-EN

The European Investment Bank’s Board of Directors today approved loans to European-based car makers worth a total of EUR 600m.

One of the loans approved today amounts to EUR 400m for SAAB Automobile AB. The loan will be used for research and development activities for the improvement of fuel efficiency and safety including new tooling for the production of cleaner and safer cars, subject to the European Commission’s approval of the Swedish state guarantee.

In total, since December 2008 the EIB has approved loans to the automotive sector (manufacturers and suppliers) worth EUR 7.56bn, whereof EUR 4.52bn under the EIB’s European Clean Transport Facility (ECTF). EUR 320m out of the EUR 400m approved for SAAB would be provided under the ECTF. The Facility, part of the EIB’s wider response under the European Economic Recovery Package, targets significant cuts in vehicles’ CO2 emissions through research, development and innovation, as well as the production of cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars and other transport and also through tangible fixed assets in related infrastructure and production plants. The remainder is intended to help SAAB improve the active and passive safety of its future vehicles.

After the approval of the operations the contracts will be negotiated and signed, followed by disbursement according to the progress of the projects. In 2009, EUR 3.6bn has already been disbursed to the automotive sector and it is forecast that this will reach around EUR 6.0bn by year-end. Further disbursements will follow in 2010.

Note for the editor:

The European Investment Bank was created by the Treaty of Rome in 1958 as the long-term lending bank of the European Union. The task of the Bank is to contribute towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States. The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets which it lends on favourable terms to projects furthering EU policy objectives. The EIB continuously adapts its activity to developments in EU policies.

* press@eib.org
* +352 43 79 – 21000

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Sweden’s E24 On The EIB Loan Decision For Saab Tomorrow.

Posted on 21. Oct, 2009 by .


Sweden’s E24 have provided a nice piece on what we can “hopefully” expect tomorrow when the EIB meet to determine the fate of Saab Automobile’s loan.

It’s very positive, of course optimistic given that it is before the loan decision, but it’s nice to read.

On Wednesday board meeting of the European Investment Bank, EIB. And the agenda is the development loan of just over 4 billion to Saab.

The investors behind the Koenigsegg Group, including CEO Christian von Koenigsegg and the Norwegian Bard Eker, have themselves expressed that the EIB loan is a precondition for the deal to go through.

Saab’s own assessment is that the EIB’s reply will be positive.

– We assess the probability as fairly high that the bank grants the loan, “says Eric Geers, Communications Director at Saab.

He is also hopeful that Koenigsegg Group, after all, be able to complete the acquisition of Saab, and this shortly.

– We have had very positive meetings with all parties involved. Everything rolls on as planned. Maybe we can finish the whole affair at the end of this month, said Eric Geers.

But even if the Bank gives a positive decision on Wednesday is still several pieces of the puzzle before the deal can fall into place.

– The Board’s decision is actually an authorization to initiate detailed negotiations on the financial contracts. It is so, then the detailed negotiations begin, “says Eva Srejber, Vice President of the EIB.

– The journey is not over, but the Board’s decision is obviously one of the most important milestones.

And the Bank will only loan conditional to the Swedish state-guaranteed loan. It remains also for the European Commission to assess whether the structure of government guarantee is in line with EU competition rules.

In the case of state guarantees, the Debt Office is making a recommendation to the Government which in turn take the decision itself.

Erik Sjulander, Head of Debt Office, has previously told the Norwegian press that the goal has been to the National Debt Office will be finished with its evaluation later than 21 October which is thus on Wednesday.

– It’s basically the ambition that we have. Since we depend on a lot of information from the EIB in order to complete our work. They include the term of the loan, the repayment schedule looks like and the exact amount. Ultimately, we need the EU Commission’s decision, “says Erik Sjulander.

– But we are working of course the question remains, and so it looks good.

EU Commission’s basic rule is that you must not give support to companies in financial crisis. Enterprises must be deemed viable.

While Saab has delivered year after year loss figures and last week presented the automaker’s sales figures which were really bad. In September, sales plummeted almost 62 percent compared with a year earlier. That compares with Volvo as sales grew by over 8 percent.

But the latest shock figures will at least not affect SNDO decisions in a decisive way.

– When we look at the business plan we look at the big picture – and to hear, of course, how Saab is now, but the business we are looking at is, after all, primarily forward looking, “says Erik Sjulander.

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Saab History Receives Clarity From Saab Automobile On Swedish Governments Request To European Commission

Posted on 06. Oct, 2009 by .


Saab History has requested and now has received more clarity on the European Investment Bank loan status from Saab Automobile’s Anna Petre, head of Government relations.

A thank you to her for giving us the details, particularly with the three remaining items listed below.

They have not granted the loan yet. The Government have asked the European Commission for a so called notification of the state guarantee. Since Sweden is a member of the European Union there are certain rules for when state aid is permitted and by this notification the EU Commission will see to that the state guarantee for Saab is ok according to EU regulation.

There are three parallel processes that have to be finalized (preferably in the same time frame) before we get the EIB loan. All three are on going and on track.

1. EIB application approved by the EIB Board
2. Finalize negotiations with the National Debt Office regarding the terms
of the state guarantee
3. EU Commission approval of the state guarantee (Swedish Government Seeks Approval On Friday)

Best Regards


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Swedish Government In Process To Grant EIB Loan For Saab

Posted on 05. Oct, 2009 by .


Goteborg Posten reports that the Swedish Government has notified the European Commission that it is prepared to grant the European Investment Bank (EIB) loans to Koenigsegg & Saab.

GP’s Stephan Lövgren helps us clarify this as the Swedish Government is close in their process to granting the EIB loans as guarantor to Saab, although it has yet to be completed.

With October 21st, fast approaching, this is certainly good news for Saab & Koenigsegg and a big milestone, yet more work needs to be done to get EIB’s non-objection response in granting the loan.

GP have also contacted Saab’s Government affairs person, Anna Petre who has also chimed in below.

Here’s the piece below translated.

Half a green light to Saab-loans

The government has informed the commission that it is prepared to provide state guarantees for EIB loan to Saab. This has taken an important step towards survival.

It is a long way and many hurdles to cross – but now, Saab has managed a further milestones.

The government has made a so-called notification to the commission. A subject to notification to the EU Commission to approve the loan the presentation requiring sovereign guarantees.

Saab wants to know who have a loan of around four billion from the European Investment Bank and the loan is guaranteed by the Swedish state.

The commission shall examine upon notification that the guarantees do not conflict with state aid rules. In addition, we see that the company is sound and is not insolvent.

EU Commission’s review will then result in a response, a so-called non-objection (no objection). Only after this the EIB Board address the issue of loans for possible approval.

– This is a necessary step, “says Anna Petre, responsible for regulatory contacts at Saab.

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Swedish Government Press Conference On Saab Automobile’s European Investment Bank Loan Guarantees

Posted on 16. Jun, 2009 by .


The Swedish Government’s Maud Olofsson will be involved in press conference today about the memorandum of understanding between the government and Saab about the loan guarantees from the European Investment bank.

The two pieces of important criteria for these loans were that A) the company keeps Saab in Sweden along with many of the jobs and B) the company be environmentally sustainable. Check, check.

Here is an excerpt from the Swedish Government’s website loosely translated. Click here at 8:15am (EST) or 2:15pm in Sweden for the live press conference on SVT’s website as there is no embed code as of this posting.

– It is good that questions for Saab are now clear. Says a message that the company’s employees, Trollhättan, Västra Götaland Region and the Government has been waiting for, “said Industry Minister Maud Olofsson.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the parties means that Riksgälden can now start negotiations with Saab and the incoming owner on condition of state credit guarantees for loans of the European Investment Bank (EIB), if the new owners wish. Guarantees relating to loans at the Bank for the implementation of projects aimed at developing safer and more environmentally friendly cars. Before a government decision can be taken to set out the guarantees necessary to the EIB loan limits and the European Commission approves terms for the issue of government credit guarantees.

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