China’s Youngman bids for Saab again

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Chinese automaker Youngman has offered to buy bankrupt Swedish carmaker Saab for 3.2 billion kronor ($470 million), according to a report in Swedish business daily Dagens Industri (DI). That’s the lowest price that the major pledgees and real estate owners will accept to settle their pledges and their property,” a source told DI.

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According to the paper, the Chinese firm has also promised to invest an additional 10 billion kronor in order to restart production at Saab’s factory in Trollhättan in western Sweden, a facility which has been more or less at a standstill for a year.

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India’s Mahindra & Mahindra is also reportedly negotiating with bankruptcy administrators in hopes of laying claim to what’s left of Saab Automobile, which filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2011 following months of financial problems.

Meanwhile, Pang Da, the Chinese carmaker which for a long time was extremely interested in taking over Saab, has reported that its efforts to revive the cash strapped Swedish brand cost it dearly.

In 2011, Pang Da paid €45 million ($59 million) in advance for cars that Saab was supposed to build. But the cars were never made, and now Pang Da reports that the payment has hit the company’s 2011 earnings, which sunk by 43 percent, according to Automobile News China.

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The report comes following a tense hearing in Vänersborg District Court on Monday during which former Saab CEO Victor Muller and Guy Lofalk, the court appointed administrator who had been charged with trying to reorganize Saab to avoid a bankruptcy filing, testified to the accuracy of a recently completed inventory of Saab’s debts and assets.

The review revealed that Saab had around 13 billion kronor in debts against 3.6 billion kronor in assets. During the hearing, Muller criticized Lofalk for the way he handled the reorganization as well for accepting too high a fee for his work.

Muller went on to demand that Lofalk be required to repay part of the €1.2 million he and his staff were paid and that the administrator also be made to pay damages for doing a poor job. Lofalk was left stunned by the request. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told the TT news agency.


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