Saab plans to sell property to Antonov image

Dutch company Spyker Cars NV, which owns troubled Swedish car maker Saab Automobile, has announced it is in talks to sell and lease back the property portfolio of its Saab subsidiary.

The announcement, made by the Dutch company on Monday, comes a few days after Saab halted production at its plant in Trollhättan, north of Gothenburg, indefinitely because of unpaid supplier bills.

“Spyker confirms that it is in discussion with a financial institution on the sale and lease back of Saab Automobile’s real estate property,” the company said later in a statement.

“The outcome of the discussions is still uncertain and subject to the approval of the Swedish National Debt Office. It is expected that further announcements will be made shortly.”

The Swedish government, which must approve the plan, may make a decision as early as today, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The deal would provide a financial lifeline to Saab, which has been forced to halt production amid a payment dispute with suppliers.

Antonov, who was forced by General Motors Co. (GM) to withdraw as a Spyker shareholder before it would sell Saab to the Dutch car maker, has said that he would be willing to invest EUR50 million in the troubled Swedish company.

Earlier Monday, Saab Automobile said production at its Trollhattan factory will remain in shutdown until its liquidity problem is solved.
No sum was mentioned in connection with the possible sale-and- lease deal, but similar moves are common among industrial firms.