Swedish Automobile Changes Name to Spyker, Saab Assets Cover Only Third of Debt

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Saab parent company Swedish Automobile will change its name back to Spyker, the company announced this week. Pending approval by the shareholders, the name change will become official on April 18. In other Saab news, the debts left behind by the automaker’s bankruptcy total $2 billion, of which the now-defunct automaker can cover roughly a third with its assets valued at $533 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A short press release distributed by Swedish Automobile announced the name change, but revealed few details as to why. The company sold the sports car-making part of the business last year to North Street Capital, an American private equity firm. With Swedish Automobile now readopting the Spyker name, it’s unclear how Spyker Cars will be affected.

As for Saab’s debt, The Wall Street Journal reports creditors who lent the Swedish automaker funds are unlikely to be paid back. The officials tasked with liquidating Saab said 11.3 kronor (roughly $1.7 billion) of the automaker’s total 13 billion kronor ($2 billion) debt is held by Saab Automobile, while the rest falls on subsidiaries Saab Automobile Tools and Saab Automobile Powertrain.

Saab’s combined total assets amount to 3.6 billion kronor ($533 million), though 406 million kronor of that is being held as collateral by various creditors. Saab owes the Swedish National Debt Office 2.2 billion kronor, a debt The Wall Street Journal expects to be recouped partially from the sale of Saab’s subsidiaries, which were held as collateral. Last year, when Saab was unable to pay employee wages, the Swedish government stepped in and paid three months’ wages on Saab’s behalf while the company attempted to restructure. Now, Saab owes 1.4 billion kronor in unpaid wages, including 513 million kronor owed to its staff, and 870 million kronor owed to the government. The Wall Street Journal says roughly 3400 Saab Automobile employees aren’t likely to receive unpaid wages, but employees of the powertrain unit will get some of the money owed.    

The preferred stock held by Saab’s former owner General Motors is probably worthless, the report suggests, but won’t result in a write-off at the American automaker, as GM wrote off the value of the shares and set aside $100 million to cover Saab’s outstanding receivables and bad debt last year.

Source: Swedish Automobile, The Wall Street Journal

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