• Apr 11, 2011
The last few weeks haven't been easy for Saab, as the Swedish automaker has had to stop production twice due to supplier issues. Not just any problems, either, as the suppliers wanted to get paid, and Saab simply didn't have the cash. That led to widespread speculation that the automaker was destined to shutter only a year after Spyker purchased the company from General Motors.

Now Bloomberg is reporting that the Swedish government is looking into getting a bank loan to float the company for the short-term. The loan will most likely come from Bankas Snoras in Lithuania, which is run by Russian investor Vladimir Antonov, who has attempted to buy into the brand since GM originally put it up for sale.

The Swedish government is fighting for more than just a few thousand, albeit important jobs as well. Sweden backed Saab's 400 million-euro ($577 million) loan from the European Investment Bank, likely leaving the Swedish taxpayers on the hook for a hefty bill if the automaker goes south.

Bloomberg sources say lawyers are working on a deal that would float the automaker $48 million while the government approves the involvement of Antonov. Once approved, the Russian investor would then add 50 million Euro ($72 million in U.S. funds) to Saab's coffers in exchange for a 30 percent stake in the company.

We're thinking this deal will get done and Saab will be able to pay its suppliers. But whether the Swedish government and Antonov are throwing good money after bad is another matter. We'll continue to follow this situation as it unfolds.

[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Peter Green
      • 4 Months Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
      Antonov is pretty smart...figure a slightly more than 10% investment relative to what the Swedish government has already guaranteed/spent and WILL spend to get a 30% interest in the company. Upside is tremendous if Saab can be sold again....downside is only $72M....chump change for a billionaire. Antonov wins/loses more than that every day with currency exchange rate changes.

        • 3 Years Ago
        And the Swede government is insane for giving Antonov more than about 12%.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Saab will need to sell alot more than its current 30K cars per year to ever get its head above water. I think it will be very difficult for them to get their sales up to an acceptable level before they run completely out of money. Perhaps then Antnov moves the tooling to Russia?
      • 3 Years Ago
      SAAB is dead.
      The new 9-5 is a beautiful car but only makes sense if there's a favorable lease deal from the manufacturer.

      Consider what'll happen to SAAB resale value when (not if) the company goes belly up.

      Those 3 cylinder, 2 cycle SAABs from the '50s and early '60s were excellent and innovative cars. In later years, GM did to SAAB what it did to itself.
      Too bad.
      • 3 Years Ago
      SAAB is another fine example of something that should have been left to die.
      It was terminal and it is basically a veg on life support.
      Pull the plug and let it go, their cars were really nothing special. Quirky, yes, but nothing special.
        • 3 Years Ago
        don't get your socks and sandals in a bunch benhyde380.
        I guess it's a shame that SAAB is such a poor automaker with merely average automobiles with insane MSRP's that sell for 1/4 of that once they leave the dealers lot.
        They just aren't good cars. Some things deserve death, SAAB is a prime example.
        • 3 Years Ago
        hey gomjabber, exactly how far up ur ass is ur head
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've got a Saab sitting in my front yard. Has a few issues keeping it from running. Closest place that will work on it is 2 hours away via tow truck.. my turbo has problems, the one key I have left has lost its programming, and the radio hasn't worked in almost 2 years thanks to the amp dying and being too Damned expensive. Hope to sell it for scrap soon. Tired of carpooling in a cobalt with my wife. Loved my Saab when it cranked, had stereo, and the turbo was functioning properly. Lack of service availability and the rocky road the company has had to travel will have to turn me away. RIP to my 2003 93 Linear.
      • 3 Years Ago
      don't think I've ever seen a more dizzying photograph.