New Saab financing plans from Koenigsegg for the Swedish govt image

Luxury sportscar maker Koenigsegg has presented the Swedish government with a new plan for financing its purchase of Saab Automobile GM.UL, a government official said on Monday.

State Secretary Joran Hagglund told Reuters the plan no longer involved any extra loan from the Swedish state on top of guarantees for funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB). He declined to comment on the details of the plan.

“They have presented us with a plan …. We will look at it from our side and decide how credible it is,” Hagglund said.

“As I understand it, they will present information on the matter in the coming days.”

Sweden’s Dagens Industri business daily reported late on Monday that a Chinese car manufacturer would be going in on the Saab deal as part owner, quoting an unnamed source as saying that it has helped cover what is understood to be a 3 billion Swedish crown ($420 million) gap in financing for the purchase.

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“You should look into GM’s circle of partners in China when you are looking after who is putting money into Koenigsegg Group,” the source was quoted as saying in the paper.

Dagens Industri added that there was a big possibility that the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) is the Chinese investor.

Hagglund said the Swedish government was still negotiating with Koenigsegg on a possible guarantee for a loan to Saab from the EIB, funds which are seen as vital for the Koenigsegg deal to go through as well as for Saab’s survival.

Koenigsegg struck an accord in June to buy Saab from U.S. carmaker General Motors, backed by U.S. and Norwegian investors. In August, GM and Koenigsegg said they had a deal ready but questions regarding financing remained.

Koenigsegg Chairman Augie Fabela was quoted as saying that the group also needed an additional 3 billion Swedish crowns of financing in addition to the EIB loan.

Koenigsegg told Reuters on August 18 the firm expected to close the deal within about a month. GM said it saw the deal closing by the end of the year.

GM, which emerged from bankruptcy protection on July 10, also plans to sell its Saturn and Hummer brands and its European operations, centered on Opel.

Source: Reuters