Saab was taken aback and had to immediately name who its new administrator would be after lawyer Lars-Henrik Andersson turned down the offer to replace Guy Lofalk. Instead, Lars Soderqvist of law firm Hokerberg & Soderqvist will take on the role. Last Thursday, Saab confirmed that Andersson rejected the post.
Lofalk had chosen to quit, according to Saab. But media reports indicate that Victor Muller, who heads Swedish Automobile -- the owner of Saab -- wanted Lofalk to leave.
A court in Vanersborg, Sweden, will make its ruling on Monday on whether Saab will be allowed to stay in a scheme that protects it from creditors while it works to finalize an agreement with Chinese investor Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.
Just last week, Lofalk urged the court to end creditor protection since Saab, which is owned by Dutch-listed Swedish Automobile, had run out of money.
Last Tuesday, Muller said that Saab had gotten a first payment of EUR3.4 million from Youngman in order to survive. However, it requires more funding so that the wages of its employees would be paid and production would resume.
In January 26, 2010, General Motors inked a deal to sell Saab to Spyker, which was closed on February 23, 2010. The agreement included a loan from the European Investment Bank. Following a two-month break, Saab resumed production in March 2010. GM continued to be a preferential shareholder at Saab.
Then, Muller formed Swedish Automobile to serve as the parent company of Spyker Cars and Saab. However, Saab soon ran out of money, and Spyker Cars wasn’t able to plug the losses. Since it can’t pay its suppliers and its employees anymore, Saab sopped vehicle production in May 2011 and Muller started searching for financial support.
For several months, Muller had attempted to implement a rescue agreement with different investors from Russia, Middle East and China, which include Youngman and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co Ltd. The rescue deal with Youngman and partners, however, failed to push through as GM, Saab’s former owner, refused to approve the sale. GM believed that it won't be able to support a Saab sale as it might negatively affect its current relationships in China or its competitiveness in other markets.
As GM remains a preferential shareholder in Saab and is also major supplier for its vehicle parts, the approval of the American auto giant was required for the Pang Da and Youngman takeover to push through. [source: Reuters]