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Saab EIB loan repaid by Swedish Government

Sat, 28 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

Sweden has repaid Saab's EIB loan

With Saab in administration, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has called in the Swedish Government guarantee on Saab’s loan.

In the midst of Victor Muller’s efforts to restructure Saab, Saab received access to a European Investment Bank loan of €400 million, of which it accessed some €217 million. But just like any less than credit worthy individual Saab needed a guarantor for the loan, which they received from the Swedish Government.

Now that guarantee has come home to roost for the Swedish Debt Office, with the EIB calling in their underwriting of Saab’s EIB loan, so the Swedish Debt Office has had to cough up the €217 million Saab actually borrowed.

It may have been painful for Sweden to pay out €217 million with only a limited chance of seeing their money back, but in some ways it will make it easier to sell Saab to one of the suitors currently circling round Trollhatten, with one fewer interested parties having a say in who can buy what’s left of Saab.

Of course, the big obstacle to any sale of Saab as an entity is still GM, who’s technology underpins Saab’s cars and who have the veto over any sale of more than 20 per cent of Saab. But that shouldn’t be a huge problem for at least two of Saab’s putative suitors.

In line to make a bid for Saab are – as far as we know – Brightwell Holdings (a Turkish Equity Firm), Mahindra & Mahindra (a giant Indian Automotive firm) and China’s Youngman. It still seems likely that GM will block any sale to Youngman involving any of GM’s technology, but it should be different for Brightwell and Mahindra.

Now all Saab needs are actual bids for what’s left of a once proud car company.

By Cars UK