Saab Speeds Up Talks with Potential Buyers


With GM confirming its intent to abandon Saab by the end of 2009, Saab is accelerating talks with a number of potential buyers.

As we reported earlier, Saab was discussing the possibility of receiving loans from the Swedish government on several conditions. One of the conditions was for the company to find a private investor to underwrite its business plan. Saab Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson said that the Swedish automaker has sped up talks with its potential suitors inside and outside the auto industry in an effort to survive. Jonsson still has not named any of the potential suitors.

Saab made a los of about 3 billion kronor ($340 million) in 2008 and expects to post a similar loss for 2009. The company blames consumer demand, aging products, overcapacity and high costs. GM refuses to keep funding the company’s losses and said the Swedish company would become an independent business as of January 1, 2010. Jonsson said the firm is committed to reaching profitability by 2011.

Jonsson said Saab needs €500 million in aid from the Swedish government to survive. The firm is currently working with Deutsche Bank on its efforts to find a buyer and receive the government-backed aid to stay afloat. The company won court protection from creditors while it looks for a new partner and a source of cash.

Source: Automotive News

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