Tag Archives: State Secretary

Swedish Government’s Enterprise Minister, Jöran Hagglund Says Saab Has 3 To 5 Serious Bidders

Posted on 02. Apr, 2009 by .

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Dow Jones Swedish Correspondent, Ola Kinnander, indicates in a dialogue with Jöran Hagglund, (the Swedish Government’s State Secretary who is fighting for Saab Automobile’s success) that Saab Automobile has 3-5 serious bidders.

What is interesting about this is that back in December we heard that there were 3 bidders from Jan-Ake Jonsson, then later we heard about 5, then recently 6-8 and then from the union IF Metall, 10!

I am beginning to be less interested in the number of bidders and more interested in who they are already.

Here is the piece below from tMr Kinnander of Wall Street Journal:

Sweden Government Official: 3 To 5 Serious Bidders for GM’s Saab / Dow Jones

By Ola Kinnander ? April 1, 2009

STOCKHOLM – Saab Automobile AB, which owner General Motors Corp. is trying to sell, appears to have attracted between three and five serious bidders,
but its chances of survival remain uncertain, a senior Swedish government official told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.

He also said the Swedish and German governments have discussed the possibility of merging Saab and Opel, another troubled GM unit, but
decided such a deal wasn’t feasible.

Saab in recent weeks has said that about eight parties have expressed interest in potentially taking over the Swedish car maker.
Joran Hagglund, a state secretary in the Swedish Enterprise Ministry who is the government’s main liaison with the auto industry, said in an
interview that he suspects some rival car makers may signal interest in Saab simply to gain access to its books and research and development plans.

The picture may clear up in a couple of weeks, and then it may show that “between three and five” parties are seriously considering investing in Saab, he said. However, Hagglund doubted whether this interest would be enough to save Saab once GM cuts its ties. “It would be very nice” if Saab could survive, he said. “But the signs point the other way. The auto industry is in free fall. There may be no strong buyers.”

Potential buyers likely can soon choose between several car companies in crisis. “The question then is, does Saab’s concept fit into an interested party’s ideas? I can’t answer that, other than to say that it looks grim,” he said.

Saab in February filed for bankruptcy protection, similar to the Chapter 11 process in the U.S. Saab on Monday will meet with the reconstruction team and representatives of GM and Sweden in a Swedish court to decide whether the reconstruction period, which is set to expire next month, will be extended.

Hagglund said that since GM had paid almost all of the debt owed to Saab’s suppliers, he expected the court to approve Saab’s request for an extension for up to three months more.

He also said he thought it was unlikely that Saab and Opel, GM’s struggling German unit, would team up. The Swedish and German governments have discussed that possibility but “have pretty much concluded that … it’d be pretty difficult to find an owner who wants to go in and own both of these loss-making companies.”

Hagglund reiterated the Swedish government’s stance that it wasn’t interested in owning any auto companies.

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Saab History Clarifies Saab Automobile’s “Reorganization”

Posted on 19. Feb, 2009 by .

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I think it’s time to classify Saab Automobile’s recent position to “reorganize” which was recently decided upon at the board meeting this morning.

Reuters have recently provided some good clarification on what reorganization and I think it is important to provide their details here for our reference.

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Saab board met on Thursday, a union representative said, amid reports the Swedish carmaker was set to file for protection from creditors.

Earlier on Thursday, Swedish public service radio reported, without disclosing its sources, that Saab’s board had called an extraordinary meeting to decide on a reorganization of the carmaker.

A reorganization filing, which is an alternative to an outright bankruptcy filing, would be made with a Swedish court after which the viability of continuing operations is assessed.

“There has been a company board meeting, it has not really finished yet, and it started around 1100 (CET),” said Micael Lindell, a union representative at Saab.

Lindell said he had no information on what was discussed at the meeting, but the board’s union representatives and Saab’s management had a meeting scheduled at 1500 CET (9 a.m. EST).

A Saab spokeswoman declined to comment.

GM said earlier this week that Saab could file for reorganization as early as this month and that it still hoped to reach an agreement with Sweden on aid for the brand.

However, the Swedish government on Wednesday ruled out owning carmakers or their factories and accused GM of shirking its responsibility as an owner and that talks over state aid for Saab lacked a realistic basis.

Martin Skold, an assistant professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, who analyses the car industry, said the reorganization would need to define the legal relationship between Saab and its parent GM.

Cutting legal ties could save GM hundreds of millions of dollars in costs if Saab were to go bankrupt.

In a business reorganization, the company seeks protection from creditors while it comes up with a plan to become profitable. It is an alternative to bankruptcy, said Sven Save at Ackordscentralen, a Swedish consultancy firm which handles insolvency issues.
[…]

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Saab Automobile AB Board Deciding On Reorganizing

Posted on 19. Feb, 2009 by .

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According to multiple news agencies, the Local, Reuters and Nyteknik, the Saab Automobile AB board met this morning to decide to reorganize the company.

I have sent in some requests to contact Saab Automobile AB this morning (afternoon their time), and I have not received an immediate response as of yet, with an understanding that they are obviously quite busy at this time.

I am looking for some clarity on where we are at this point however here is the piece from the local below:

The board of Swedish automaker Saab is expected to make a decision about whether or not to seek bankruptcy protection during a special meeting of the company’s board on Thursday.

The news comes from anonymous sources within Saab, according to several Swedish media outlets.

The move, which comes a day after both General Motors (GM) and the Swedish government said they had no plans to support the troubled brand, would likely resulted in major changes at the company, including staff cuts and alterations in production.

Saab Automobile spokesperson Eric Geers declined to confirm the reports.

“We can’t comment on that,” he told the TT news agency.

Speaking to Sveriges Radio (SR), Saab chief executive also Jan-Aake Jonsson refused to confirm the information.

“I don’t want to speculate on the different alternatives that Saab has when it comes to running our operations going forward,” he told SR.

Early Wednesday morning Swedish time, news came from the United States that GM had no plans to invest further in Saab and hoped to sell the company by January 2010.
[…]

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Joran Hagglund, Sweden’s State Secretary On Saab Tomorrow

Posted on 17. Feb, 2009 by .

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Joran Hagglund, the state secretary, opposed to Göran Hägglund, the Swedish Center Party, who is actually fighting for Saab Automobile AB’s success has recently talked withreported to Reuters.

Joran Hagglund says that he does not expect Saab to be sold or liquidated in the GM Business plan that will be announced tomorrow.

This is good news, and is probably the only good news coming from a Swedish Government official over the past few weeks. It is my hopes that his wishes trump those of Maud Olofsson, Fredrik Reinfeldt and Göran Hägglund tomorrow when the GM business plan is delivered to the U.S. Treasury.

Joran Hagglund, state secretary of the Swedish Industry Ministry, said he did not expect GM’s restructuring plan, which it must submit by Tuesday in exchange for billions of dollars in federal loans, to include a proposal for Saab and other non-core assets to be liquidated or sold under protection of a bankruptcy court.

“Now I don’t think this is a likely scenario tomorrow. But if that is the case, it will be a process where they work out which parts they will keep and which they will not keep,
” Hagglund said in an interview with Reuters.

Hagglund dismissed a report from public service broadcaster SVT at the weekend that negotiations had broken down.

“It is of course the case that GM has a fair bit on its hands back home, which affects how much time and effort they can put into this,” he said of the talks. “But we are continuing the discussions and we will have to see how they formulate the plan that they are to present tomorrow.”

Hagglund said the plans being readied by GM ahead of the Tuesday deadline were likely to include statements on how the group would manage overseas operations such as Saab, but that this did not mean negotiations needed to be concluded by then.

The state secretary repeated that the Swedish state would not become the owner of any car company.

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Sweden’s State Secretary Jöran Hägglund Fighting For Saab Automobile’s Success

Posted on 27. Jan, 2009 by .

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joran.jpgIt seems like in the recent reports, that Jöran Hägglund on behalf of the Swedish Government along with Saab Automobile AB, are fighting for the success of the brand.

Jöran Hägglund is the State Secretary to the Minister for Enterprise and Energy, Maud Olofsson. Minster Olofsson is the one who introduced the Swedish Government’s financial support plan for the automotive industry that I covered here on Saab History back on December 11th, 2008

It appears that the folks at General Motors are still somewhat reluctant to provide a business plan that is actually credible and shows substantial long-term information and that’s a shame.

It’s clear that Mr. Hägglund is working very hard in what is an iterative back and forth process on behalf of the Swedish Government. This process will hopefully result in GM providing enough information in a business plan that states among everything else, that all of the money that the Swedish government offers to Saab, will stay in Sweden.

As many of you may have seen, he was present at the recent NAIAS along with Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson to talk with General Motors about the future of both saab Automobile AB and the other Swedish car brand.

With three weeks to go, I wish Mr. Hägglund, Maud Olofsson, the Swedish Government and Saab Automobile AB well with their efforts to ensure an independent and successful Swedish owned and operated Saab brand.

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GM Needs To Present A More Credible Plan for Saab

Posted on 27. Jan, 2009 by .

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According to The Local, the Swedish Government is not going to pay out the funding until General Motors provides a “more credible” business plan for Saab Automobile.

I am seeing this situation as an iterative process back and forth, presumably with February 17th as the final deadline to “get it right”. I have no faith in General Motors to get it right as they have shown, so I hope that the folks leading Saab Automobile in Sweden can substantially augment this report to get it right, because this may be their last chance to make the clean break to independence.

There are three weeks to go, so let’s hope this plan becomes more substantial and more importantly, credible, to secure the funding from the Swedish Government. If all goes well with the plan being deemed credible, the Swedish government will initiate the funds, then the European Investment Bank will provide their funding as well in early March. Let’s hope this idea works according to plan. Come on GM, let’s get with it give Saab everything they rightfully deserve in this final stretch. They have done much more for you than you have ever done for them, so step up to the plate and deliver a more credible plan so that they can succeed. We’re all watching and waiting.

Here is the report below:

A Swedish government official has said the country will not pay out state credit guarantees from General Motors until Saab’s US owner can present a more credible business plan for its Swedish subsidiary.

“We have asked for … a more credible business plan that outlines the development over the next few years based on a scenario where sales continue to decrease and the measures needed to combat that,” Jöran Hägglund, state secretary in the ministry of enterprise, told Swedish public radio.

“That’s a prerequisite for moving forward in the talks about credit guarantees,” he said.

Hägglund said talks were ongoing with both GM and Saab.

The Swedish centre-right government in December presented a 28 billion kronor ($3.5 billion dollar) package to help the country’s beleaguered automotive sector, including carmakers Saab and Volvo which is owned by US automaker Ford.

Of that sum, 20 billion kronor are earmarked for state credit guarantees “for raising loans (from) the European Investment Bank for conversion to green technology.”

Hägglund said GM had two weeks to present a new plan.
[…]

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Jan-Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile President Speaks with Dagens Nyheter At NAIAS

Posted on 13. Jan, 2009 by .

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jaj1.jpg

Photo Credit: Lasse Swärd

Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson, Saab Automobile President Speaks with Dagens Nyheter At NAIAS and has had some good, yet realistic things to say about Saab Automobile’s future.

Detroit. -The talks are good, they are in a constructive spirit. We have a business plan that shows how we could ultimately become a profitable company. The Government are now studying the plan in detail. The analysis is not clear, but should be there within a few months. It is quite urgent clearance, “he said in an interview with DN during the current salon in Detroit.

Earlier in the day (Sunday), he met with Fritz Henderson, who is Chief Operating Officer of GM, the second under CEO Rick Wagoner. Along with Carl-Peter Forster, head of GM Europe and Jöran Hägglund, State Secretary at the Industry Ministry, discussed the Jan-Åke Jonsson future of Saab and the type of assistance the company needs. It is not just about Swedish state aid, efforts must be coordinated with similar relief efforts in Germany and the USA. Governments are keen to tax incentives to stay in their country, but it is easier said than done because the car industry is global and activities so integrated with each other.

Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson would not disclose how much support he would like the government. It is about both rescue loan _ emergency money _ and government guarantees for loans in the European Investment Bank.
[…]

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Saab Automobile To Receive European Bank Loan?

Posted on 09. Jan, 2009 by .

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Saab Automobile AB has already received the ability to apply for the $3.14 billion dollar loan that the Swedish Government has indicated back on December 11th, 2008.

According to Ola Kinnander at Dow Jones in Sweden, Saab Automobile AB is going to be possibly receiving another loan from the European Investment Bank. The European Investment Bank has a current list of recipients for loans, so this will be a good place to keep checking for the details of this loan, should it come to fruition for Saab Automobile’s sake. At this time, Saab is not yet listed.

Hagglund, a representative of the the state ministry indicated that he along with many members of the Swedish Government will be in Detroit during the Auto Show to meet with executives of General Motors to discuss the future of the Saab Automobile brand as well as the other Swedish brand and their owner.

This news dialog about Saab Automobile’s future is getting pretty substantial with a lot at stake. Wouldn’t it be nice to be present at that meeting with heads of the Swedish Government, Saab Automobile Sweden & General Motors next week. That would be some interesting dialog to say the least.

By Ola Kinnander

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

STOCKHOLM -(Dow Jones)- Ford Motor Co. Swedish unit Volvo Cars is seeking a loan with the European Investment Bank, backed by Sweden’s government, and is likely to get the funds approved by March, a senior Swedish government official told Dow Jones Newswires.

Saab Automobile AB, a unit of General Motors Corp. (GM), is also discussing a potential EIB loan with the Swedish government, though it’s further behind in the process, the official said in an interview.
[…]

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