News Column

Nonbinding Bids Placed for Saab, Receivers Say

Feb. 28, 2012

Lennart Simonsson

Saab logo

Several Swedish and foreign companies have made nonbinding bids for Swedish carmaker Saab, which filed for bankruptcy in December, receivers handling the carmaker's bankruptcy estate said Tuesday.

"We have received a number of indicative bids," attorney Hans Bergqvist told reporters, adding that the "well-motivated" bids would be evaluated during the coming week.

The receivers had set a Monday deadline for companies that had already expressed interest, "to speed up the process," said attorney Anne-Marie Pouteaux, adding however that this would not exclude later bidders.

Bergqvist and Pouteaux were appointed on December 19, when the carmaker's Dutch owner, Swedish Automobile, filed for bankruptcy.

They declined to spell out how many bids had been made or if any bidders had pulled out, citing "tactical reasons."

"A number of bids will be weighed and assessed against each other," Bergqvist said.

The receivers said they were seeking an "overall solution" that would comprise some form of production at Sweden's Trollhattan car plant.

Since last week, "a couple" of firms had expressed interest in Saab and this was also being investigated, Bergqvist said.

The receivers said the bids would not cover Saab's debts, noting that the carmaker had struggled "for a long time" -- as indicated by Saab's two attempts to voluntarily reorganize its business, Pouteaux said.

In a related development, Chinese group Youngman confirmed Tuesday that it had placed a revised bid for Saab worth 2 billion kronor (299 million dollars), Youngman's founder Pang Qingnian told Swedish television.

Youngman was in talks with the carmaker's Dutch owner until the December 19 bankruptcy filing.

Meanwhile, Turkey-based investment group Brightwell said it had decided to drop out, citing opposition from Saab's former owner General Motors (GM), which still controls key technology used by Saab and has a say over any possible deals.

"Due to GM's attitude we could not continue," spokesman Zamier Ahmed told the online edition of financial daily Dagens Indsutri.

Swedish Automobile took over Saab from GM in 2010.



Source: (c) 2012 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)


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