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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Court of Appeals in Gothenburg approved voluntary reorganisation of Saab

After the first disapproval, than an appeal, today the Court of Appeals in Gothenburg has approved voluntary reorganisation of Saab.

The press release continues : 

"The purpose of the voluntary reorganization process is to secure short-term stability while simultaneously attracting additional funding, pending the inflow of the equity contributions by Pang Da and Youngman.

The Swedish Company Reorganization Act says that an application shall not be approved unless there is reasonable cause to assume that the purpose of the reorganization will be achieved. In today’s decision, the Court of Appeal has found that such conditions exist, thereby overturning an earlier ruling by the District Court in V√§nersborg, Sweden.

As a consequence of the Court of Appeal ruling, Saab Automobile will request for the bankruptcy filings by unions IF Metall, Unionen and Ledarna to be cancelled."

What does it mean for Saab ?

First of all Saab wins time he so desperately needs for 1) the reorganisation, 2) finding short-term funds for 3) restart of the production.

The time from the court is 3 months which can be possibly prolonged to 12 months. 

Saab has several bankruptcy filings by the unions and by some suppliers. As there will come a request, with high probability these will be cancelled. The filling by the unions were highly discussed because only a  part of the members voted for the filing.

The members of IF Metal (unions) also have met the chinese partners Pang Da and Youngman some days ago. Afterwards the unions waited until the last moment before submiting the filing.

There is a binding contract by the chinese partners Pang Da and Youngman in a size of 245M€ and an expressed wish to invest together around 870M€ into Saab. "Step by step", specified Rachel Pang for the newspaper DI.

So far so good. But the fight is still not over. All chinese investments are long-term and will be valid only if approved by NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission of China), the chinese authority approving foreign investment activities. This approval is expected in November 2011. Some days ago also the Swedish government tried to help by the negotiations in China. The visible result until now are several approvals below the NDRC level. The time until the expected November approval is now crucial for Saab to reconstruct.

Where the short-term money comes from is a big unknown for me. But Victor Muller (happy birthday!) is known as an extremely hard working man (sometimes magician) when it comes to search for investment funds. It will be tough, the worlds economical situation is far from to be good, but on the other hand Saab is a very perspective company. Swade, writing the official Inside Saab blog, has a great post explaining why is it so.

By the way, thank you Swade for linking our joint ride (and my gallery) of the austrian and slovakian saab clubs.

In other words, the time from now until the expected NDRC approval is the most critical time for Saabs survival. You may call it last chance. I call it space for a deep breath.

And wouldn't it be a pity to destroy a company producing this ? :

I will drive the black one 2500+ km and spend 2 nights on a ferry to Saabsunited Octoberfest 2011 in Trollhättan and back. Looking forward for the event.

And good luck Saab !

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