Tag Archives: spin-off

Merbanco As 3rd Bidder Alongside Koenigsegg & Renco?

Posted on 09. Jun, 2009 by .

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While it seemed like the two remaining bidders, Koenigsegg & Renco continue to dual it out, and in my opinion, it should be 100% Koenigsegg, there now appears to be a third U.S. investment company now showing up as a potential 3rd bidder with Fiat gone and fully involved with Chrysler.

That new U.S. investment company based in Wyoming is Merbanco according to the Financial Times. I am starting to get worried, given that the best possible buyer may be questioned over two U.S. investment companies that know nothing about automobiles, Scandinavia, and most importantly, Saab’s heritage in particular.

I have tried contacting this company directly at their known address and phone number to no avail, perhaps you may have some luck in debunking this news? According to a a website, their finances seem a bit shaky, with only $130,000 in annual sales and they want to invest in Saab Automobile AB? Either this report is false or they are joking only to get their name in the news.

I hope that if the news does end up true, that Merbanco is actually representing a wealthy private individual who does not want to be named.

I am reporting on this for records sake, but I am going to disregard this company until some more “credible” material presents itself.

In the meantime. here is what the Financial Times are now reporting on this.

Three groups bid for Saab in spin-off

By John Reed

Published: June 8 2009 23:56 | Last updated: June 8 2009 23:56

Three groups have entered bids for Saab, General Motors’ insolvent Swedish car brand, and GM will choose a preferred bidder by the end of this week in a spin-off it will largely finance itself.

Koenigsegg, the Swedish supercar maker; Renco, a private holding that bought and turned around the maker of Humvee military vehicles, and a third group of investors from the US state of Wyoming have expressed interest in Saab, according to two people briefed on the sale.

[…]

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Magna International Responds to Saab History Regarding Their Potential Intent With Opel, Not Saab Automobile

Posted on 21. May, 2009 by .

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Yesterday, I sent an e-mail to Magna International Asking about their intent and interest in buying Saab Automobile AB.

Here’s their surprising response, could it be that they are only really interested in Opel? I mean, they are also going to loose production of the 9-3 convertible from Austria, so I guess they’re not interested in chasing that all the way to being an owner of Saab in Trollhattan?

OR

Does Magna International only look at Saab Automobile as being a spin-off of an Opel, so when they Say Opel they mean (Opel & Saab)?

I specifically e-mailed them about the rumors about them being buyers for Saab Automobile, why they responded with Opel only and no mention of Saab is actually confusing given these two scenarios I am contemplating above.

However, if they are only interested in Opel and not Saab, would it be safe to say that Magna International is dropped from the list of the remaining three buyers? If this is the case, hypothetically, who would replace them as part of the remaining three?

Here is their e-mail below:

From: Magna_IR@magna.on.ca
To: Saab History
Subject: Potential Opel Transaction
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 19:42:32 -0400
X-Mailer: Lotus Notes Release 7.0.3 September 26, 2007

In response to your email dated May 19, 2009 (copied below for your reference):

We would like to refer you to our website (www.magna.com) to the press release we issued on May 4, 2009. You can access it from the home page under “News”. It is entitled “Magna confirms involvement in potential Opel transaction”. This press release publicly discloses our discussions with respect to a potential Opel transaction.

Regards,

Magna International

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Saab Automobile & Opel Are In Fast-Track Talks To Join?

Posted on 27. Feb, 2009 by .

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I have recently read in Business Week, that there continues to be an ongoing dialog between Saab Automobile AB and Opel, with some possibility of there being some fast-track partnership talks during this period of reconstruction for Saab Autmoobile.

I hear that there are two equally divided camps with regards to partnering between Opel & Saab, and no matter how much people feel one way or another, we do know that they won’t be ending these talks within the next three months due to next generation Saab 9-5 that will hit production this summer.

I still wonder if there will be a new spin-off group involving Saab, Opel & Vauxhall.

In the meantime, here is their quote, coming from Sweden’s Expression newspaper.

One possible restructuring plan would be for Saab to team up with Opel. The Stockholm-based paper Expressen reported on Friday that the company was also in fast-track talks with Opel, GM’s crisis-striken German subsidiary, to possibly join forces without their American parent.

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Saab History On The General Motors Business Plan

Posted on 18. Feb, 2009 by .

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gmbplan.jpg

The “public version” of the General Motors Business Plan submitted to the U.S. Treasury today at 6:00pm has been posted on GM’s website.

You can download this 117-page PDF document titled “”GM 2009 – 2014 Restructuring Plan”, clearly a summarized version in comparison to the 900+ page official document.

Please click here to download directly at this link.

One thing is clear, GM states that basically on March 31st, 2009, Saab Automobile AB has effectively 9-months to become a completely independent business entity before January 1st, 2010.

It basically looks like Saab Automobile AB needs to secure the loans, both the $400 Million Dollars from the Swedish Government in addition to the $600 Million Dollars that was recently applied for with the European Investment Bank before March 31st.

I guess that at this point, the Swedish Government should rest assured that their money should not be going to General Motors in Detroit, but those loans need to be specifically applied only to Saab Automobile AB in their home country and I hope that both Saab & Sweden ensure that they do.

For the next 9-months following these loans, Saab Automobile AB would to secure a buyer somewhere between March 31st and January 1st, 2010.

Here are the areas that I captured from this “public” version of the GM Business Plan for your reference, but again please feel free to download it yourself and search for “Saab” and you’ll see what I have below.

Saab is to be an independent business entity Jan. 1, 2010, which is 9 months from March 31st, 2009

restruct.jpg

4.1 Competitive Product Mix and Cost Structure—General Motors Restructuring Plan calls for rationalizing vehicle sales and marketing operations in the United States through reducing brands, nameplates and retail outlets. This will help to concentrate product development resources on ―fewer, better‖ entries, and generate more competitive dealer
economics.

dealer.jpg

Brands and Channels—The Company has committed to focus its resources primarily on its core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Of the remaining brands, Pontiac—which is part of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC retail channel—will be a highly focused niche brand. Hummer and Saab, stand-alone retail channels and brands, are subject to ‗strategic reviews‘, including their potential sale. A Hummer sale or phase out decision will be made in Q1 2009, with final resolution expected for both no later than
2010. Saturn will remain in operation through the end of the planned lifecycle for all Saturn products (2010-2011). In the interim, should Saturn retailers as a group or other
investors present a plan that would allow a spin off or sale of Saturn Distribution Corporation (SDC), GM would be open to any such possibility. If a spin off or sale does
not occur, it is GM‘s intention to phase out the Saturn brand at the end of the current product lifecycle.

Provisions have been made in the pro-forma financial statements for all brand-related restructuring costs related to an assumed phase-out of the Saturn, Saab and Hummer
retail channels and brands, should a sale or spin-off prove unachievable.
,
The impact of moving from six to three retail channels, and eight to four core brands will not only result
in structural costs savings in areas such as marketing and human resources, but will enable GM to achieve greater focus on core brands and channels. The Company believes
the ongoing effect of fewer brands to be limited in terms of unit sales, while improving profitability, as over 90% of the Company‘s U.S. aggregate contribution margin (revenue
less variable cost) is derived from core brands.

U.S. Market Share Assumptions

4. Chevy, Cadillac and Buick gain share due to future product plan as well as reduced competition from HUMMER, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac

Saturn, HUMMER and Saab have generated an average annual EBIT loss of $1.1 billion (E2)

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