Way back at the beginning of Saab's struggle for life after General Motors, exotic car firm Spyker was granted a €400-million loan ($527M U.S.) from the European Investment Bank. The loan was approved after it was guaranteed by Sweden's Debt Office, and Saab's recent bankruptcy filing forced the Debt Office to back up the guarantee with a €217-million payment ($286M) to the EIB – the portion of the loan that Saab actually drew upon.
It's not exactly bad news for the government, since the government's stake in Saab Automobile Parts and Saab Automobile Tools – used to guarantee its own guarantee of the EIB loan – is understood to be worth more than €217 million.
In the next couple of weeks, bids are expected from both China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus and Turkey's Brightwell Holdings private equity group for the purchase of Saab in its entirety. No one can predict the outcome, but it this last-ditch situation might have the best chance: the European auto supplier organization CLEPA is assisting Youngman, the numbers being hinted at would indicate sane and motivated buyers, GM's intellectual property concerns appear to have been addressed, and it's certain that the sellers would love to see a bit of sun after a long spell of gloom for the hard luck brand.