Saab is still fighting for its life. The latest news from Sweden is that Saab is filing for bankruptcy protection while it waits for funding from Chinese investors Pang Da and Zhejiang Youngman.
A couple of weeks ago Swedish debt collectors were asked to investigate Saab’s bank accounts to try to produce funds owed to just two of several companies Saab owes money. Saab’s auto unions said that if the funds could not be produced in two weeks, the union would ask courts to put Saab into bankruptcy.
It’s been two weeks now and Saab has not be able to come up with the funds. Saab is now asking courts to approve a voluntary reorganisation which will give the company more time to come up with the money owed. Victor Muller, CEO of both Saab and Swedish Automobile, said in a recent statement,
“We have concluded that a voluntary reorganisation process will provide us with the necessary time, protection and stabilisation of the business, allowing salary payments to be made, short-term funding to be obtained and an orderly restart of production to be prepared.
“While the voluntary reorganisation process will no doubt present us with a number of tough issues and decisions, I believe that Saab Automobile will emerge stronger from this process.”
“The potential for Saab Automobile as a viable, independent premium car manufacturer is there, as shown by the rejuvenation of our product portfolio, approximately 11,000 orders and the conditional long-term funding already in place through the binding agreements with Pang Da and Youngman that will give us access to the Chinese market.”
Saab has agreed to sell off a combined 53.9 per cent stake in Saab to Chinese companies Pang Da and Zhejiang Youngman for 245 million euros ($325 million). The deal just needs to pass Chinese authorities’ approval. Once passed, the deal is expected to be the first step to Saab’s resurrection.