Chinese bank steps in to rescue Saab

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 5, 2011

Swedish Automobile (the owner of Saab) is in talks with a bank in China as well as with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile over a plan to rescue Saab. Last Sunday’s reports say that China's Pang Da will be replaced by the Bank of China as an investor in Saab, which is currently under bankruptcy protection.

While Swedish Automobile confirmed that there are ongoing talks about an equity interest, the bank wasn’t identified. It also refused to confirm if Pang Da continues to participate in the talks.

Last Monday, Swedish Automobile CEO Victor Muller clarified in an interview with the Swedish news agency TT that this bank mentioned in the reports is not the Bank of China.

In addition, Pang Caiping, the head of Youngman’s negotiations team for Saab, confirmed that the talks do not involve the Bank of China. In a statement, Swedish Automobile said that they have been meeting to find a short-term solution so that Saab could pay wages for November and continue with reorganization.

But it hastens to add that it’s “still uncertain” where the talks will lead to. With a new investment deal, General Motors Co. can make the approval of a new ownership structure for Saab much closer. In 2010, GM sold the money-losing brand to Swedish Automobile (which was formerly called Spyker Cars NV) but it continues to have preferential shares in Saab.

Last November, GM said that it will put a stop to the supply of parts and technology if Youngman and Pang Da became successful with their bid to purchase Saab due to worries that rivals will get access to GM's technology. [source: Autonews]

Topics: china, saab

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