Tag Archives: Official

EU COMMISSION APPROVES EIB LOAN

Posted on 08. Feb, 2010 by .

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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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The Official Language Of The Parallel Agendas For Saab

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .

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Saab Automobile Investering AB as we know appointed a liquidator for their wind down this past Friday, however their sales process continues in parallel.

These two parallel tracks continue to concern people, but as we’ve heard before, it’s been officially indicated in the documents filed this past Friday.

Here’s an excerpt from the official language from the 21-page document that Saab History has received.

The shareholder is also of the opinion, having consulted with General Motor’s qualified Swedish counsel, that the initiation of a formal liquidation of the Company will not constitute a legal obstacle to a potential sale of the shares in the Company, in the event that a serious proposal of a credible bidder is accepted by General Motors in early 2010, because the liquidation is likely to take many months to complete and it may be revoked by the shareholder if an opportunity materializes in early 2010.

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An Official Update From Saab Automobile Today

Posted on 11. Jan, 2010 by .

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This official update just in from Saab Automobile to Saab History about their status as of this afternoon 3pm EST /9pm Sweden

Proposals for Saab are still being evaluated. A group from the Swedish government led by Joran Hägglund met with GM in Detroit today at 1100 local time with the aim of discussing Saab in detail – a clear out-take from the meeting is that Saab is still for sale. As you know there are a number of dynamic groups who see the potential in Saab and they are working hard to buy us – we look forward to a positive outcome.’

Meanwhile as you know production in Trolhättan started up again after the holiday break. The Saab 9-3, 9-5 and next gen 9-5 were all built today.

Also we will see the first Trollhättan Convertible roll off the line tomorrow and it is planned to get some images, in addition there are 3 new images on the media website which show the next gen 9-5 being built.

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Today Marks The Final Day For Parties To Submit Bids

Posted on 07. Jan, 2010 by .

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Today marks the final day for the interested parties to submit their bids. Here’s hoping there some positive result with the bids.

There are two new anonymous Swedish bidders that have apparently entered the pool of candidates recently and want to get their proposals into Deutche Bank today, who have been handling the process for GM, according to Reuters.

It is my understanding that without any secured EIB statement from the Swedish Government to any party, the bids will once again be rejected. Here’s hoping I am wrong on this matter, but all comes down to that.

Here’s a piece below by Reuters discussing today’s deadline for the bids.

STOCKHOLM/AMSTERDAM, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Bidders in Sweden and the Netherlands made last-ditch efforts on Thursday to buy General Motors [GM.UL]-owned Saab, as the deadline for its sale loomed threatening the Swedish car brand with closure.

Two anonymous Swedish groups are likely to enter last-minute bids proposing management buy-outs of Saab, a Swedish business daily reported, quoting a Swedish official.

Dagens Industri quoted Joran Hagglund, Sweden’s state secretary for industry, as saying the bids are likely to meet today’s deadline, though neither group had been able to show it had the financial backing necessary for a purchase.

“We have had contacts with several different groups since the 18th of December, among them three from Sweden,” Hagglund told the paper. “I should think that at least two of them will submit bids to General Motors during Thursday.”

“The problem is that none of them can show that they have financing in place,” he said, adding that Koenigsegg, which retracted its bid late last year, was not one of the groups.
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Spyker & GM State That There Is Nothing New To Report

Posted on 24. Dec, 2009 by .

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Spyker Cars CEO, Victor Muller indicates to Saab History in an e-mail this morning, that the news sources which have reported that their bid has been rejected, are “nonsense”.

The following news sources that have mis-reported this are Automobile Magazine, Economic times.

Saabs United, have since retracted their original post.

Here’s an updated official statement from GM following the response from Mr. Muller that Saab History has also received this morning.

“Our statement from Sunday is still valid. Thanks.” That statement is that they are still looking at the offers at this time.

I know it is the day before the holidays here in the U.S., but I have to say that these news sources just need to keep quiet. I have the belief that no news is good news. We now need to enjoy our times with family and friends between now and this weekend.

As I have said before and I will say it again, the news about the future of Saab will be reported early next week, so please disregard what main stream media sources are saying at this time. Unless something official comes from Spyker or GM between now and then, let’s have a happy holiday!

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SPYKER TALKS COLLAPSE, GM TO WIND DOWN SAAB!

Posted on 18. Dec, 2009 by .

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I never thought that this day would happen, Spyker talks Collapse and Saab Automobile is closing.

Every news source is covering this right now, so more will be forthcoming but really what can we really say at this moment.

It’s an incredible sad time for everyone right now, and my heart and mind goes to all of us that have been trying to ensure Saab Automobile has a bright future.

Here’s GM’s Official Press Release:

Saab Sale Cannot Be Concluded Brand to be Wound Down

2009-12-18

Detroit. General Motors announced today that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded. After the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month, GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars about its interest in acquiring Saab. During the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe could not be resolved. As a result, GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time. In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution,” said GM Europe President Nick Reilly. “We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars. We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner. This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process. Consequently, we expect Saab to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and to wind down production and the distribution channel in an orderly manner while looking after our customers.”

Saab will continue to honor warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current Saab owners around the world.

As part of its efforts to become a leaner organization, GM began seeking a buyer for Saab’s operations in January. Last week, Saab Automobile AB announced that it had closed on the sale of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. (BAIC). GM expects today’s announcement to have no impact on the earlier sale.

As the company continues to reinvent itself, GM has been faced with some very difficult but necessary business decisions. The focus will remain on the four core brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – and several regional brands, including Opel / Vauxhall in Europe. This will enable the company to devote more engineering and marketing resources to each brand and model.

A media conference call with John Smith GM Vice President, Corporate Planning and Alliances will take place at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time.

Call-in-details are as follows:
Teleconference Dial-In Number(s) for Media:
United States: (800) 230-1059
International: (612) 234-9960
No Passcode required. Operators will request Name & Affiliation

General Motors Company, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall, Wuling and Jiefang. More information on the new General Motors Company can be found at www.gm.com.

# # #

Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

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Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs

Posted on 15. Dec, 2009 by .

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electroenginelogo


Photo Credit: Electro Engine

Here is some background on Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs that launched their first test vehicles in June this year in Sweden.

tesaab

The Swedish company Electroengine in Sweden AB has developed a new system that makes it possible to adapt standard cars with internal combustion engines to high performance electric cars. A demonstration vehicle was on public display at the annual Almedal week in Gotland, Sweden, and the official launch took place on 29th June at 9.00 am in Visby harbour.

The system, which is entitled True Electric™, can be used directly in the production of new cars. It can also be used to convert existing cars to be purely electrically operated cars. This can be done without compromising the safety and performance of the cars. Furthermore, the system has the potential to be considerably more cost-effective than the electric drive systems that are currently on the market. One of its key components is a revolutionary battery management system for which a patent is pending.

Electroengine’s Managing Director, Thomas Bergfjord, comments: “Many people still want to keep driving nice-looking, practical and safe cars with good performance and handling while they are also keen to choose a more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative. True Electric™ now makes it possible to combine the environmentally friendliness and low running costs of electric cars with the functions and performance of existing petrol-driven cars. We can, for example, use our technology to achieve 0-100 km/h acceleration of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h in a SAAB 9-3, as well as being able to drive it 150-200 km purely on electricity without having to change the car’s interior or exterior – thus retaining the luggage space and tow bar.”
[…]

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Swedish Government Confirms Speculated Saab Bidders

Posted on 30. Nov, 2009 by .

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The Swedish Government following GM, has now officially confirmed the speculated Saab bidders, but has not indicated exactly who they are, if different from speculated bidders BAIC, Merbanco & Renco, according to Stockholm News.

Jöran Hägglund, a Swedish Government official who will be in Detroit on Monday, has indicated there are buyers.

Please read the rest of the details below:

Government confirms more potential SAAB buyers

The rumors about other potential owners to the Swedish car manufacturer SAAB is now confirmed also by the government.

Undersecretary Jöran Hägglund confirmed this today but at the same time, he did not want to sound too hopefull. Hägglund will now go to Detroit for intense negotiations with GM before their board meeting on Tuesday. The negotiations with the other potential buyers take place in parallel to this.

– We have contact with several stakeholders, partly we describe the instrument we have, but also to see what they have to offer and how their plans are for SAAB, Hägglund says to Swedish Public radio channel SR.

To the question from SR of whether we can still have hope for SAAB, Hägglund said:

– I have repeated that the whole time. Since they say at GM that they have no given up, I think this is what should guide us here also.

Undersecretary Hägglund does not want to give any details on which stakeholders he refers to, but according to SR the investment group Merbanco is still interested.

Already tomorrow, Hägglund will meet several important persons in GM in Detroit which he values very much before the board meeting on Tuesday.

– For us this is important. We have had running and intense contacts with GM for a long time now. But is is crucial for us to clear out all the facts before their board meeting. There must be no vagueness about what economic securities we can offer. It is also important for us to have a chance to speak our mind to them, sayd Mr. Hägglund to SR.

(note that the quotes are translated from Swedish and not exact)

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