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Friday, October 28, 2011

Saab SOLD (?)

The Saab, Pang Da and Youngman saga continues and this time it looks to be final. Today Swedish Automobile N.V. (SWAN) announced, that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pang Da and Youngman for the sale and purchase of 100% of the shares of Saab Automobile in considered value of 100M€.

It's still a MoU, because the deal has to be approved by several authorities (swedish and chinese), SWANs shareholders and other entities (GM?).

The MoU is valid until 15. November 2011.

An MoU between the same 3 parties was already here some months ago. It didn't worked, was cancelled and now signed under new conditions again. What is completely new is the 100% purchase attempt from the chinese side, which was probably a plan all the time. The 15.11. is within the timeframe given by the court for reconstruction.

Nothing else is known so far, but news will come very soon.

So if the deal goes through, Saab will end in chinese hands completely. It's simmilar case to Volvo and Geely relationsship. Shortly after the purchase of Volvo, Geely claimed that it will let Volvo operate independently besides making Volvo branded cars in China. I would desperately expect similar claim for Saab by Pang Da and Youngman. The brand stays, but what cars in which quality and where will be built under the new ownership is unknown yet. We will find out soon. This is the "somehow good" scenario. The bad scenario is pulling Saabs technologies, killing the niche brand and creating a new one.

Todays press release partially answers this : An important consideration for Swan to enter into the transaction is the commitment of Pang Da and Youngman to provide long term funding to Saab Automobile. Without any details yet. Well, let's see ...

So questionmarks :

  • approvals of the authorities and shareholders (can destroy the whole deal)
  • Saabs debts (is the 100M€ enough ?)
  • how the reconstruction now continues
  • renegotiations of new agreements with supplyers (some of them are not existing anymore)
  • production in Trollhattan factory and future of all the employees in Trollhattan (after 1-2 years when production in China starts)
  • future of Victor Muller in Saab
  • business (sales) success after reconstruction and production restart

And how I feel now :

Lyrics (The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony)

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