Unconfirmed Reports – Saab on Brink of Bankruptcy Filing

Swedish automaker, Saab, is likely to file for bankruptcy next Monday. Today, the Associated Press reported that the Dutch financial market regulator has ordered a halt to trading of shares of Saab’s parent company, Swedish Automobile.

Dagens Industri, a Swedish business publication, also cited numerous “independent sources” as claiming that the company is prepared to submit a bankruptcy petition to the Vannerborg District Court as early as next Monday afternoon in a report it ran earlier today.

In an interview with the TT news agency earlier today, Unionen Labour’s Saab chapter chairwoman Anette Hellgren, said she was unaware of the reports.

The status of negotiations to sell Saab to Chinese automaker Youngman is unclear.

In a separate interview with the TT news agency, chairman of the Saab chapter of the white collar Ledarna labour union Thomas Haglund said, “As far as I know they were still negotiating at the weekend in Stockholm.” When asked about the reports of the impending bankruptcy filing, Haglund said, “It’s only a rumor,” and that he prefers to, “wait and see.”

Last week the automaker’s court appointed administrator Guy Lofalk requested that the court lift the bankruptcy protection that has allowed Saab to remain operational for weeks. In his request, Lofalk said Saab is insolvent and that there is no possibility of reorganizing the company.

Saab employees have still not received their wages for last month.

Saab CEO Victor Muller is reportedly attempting to cobble together an agreement that would permit the sale of Saab to Youngman without approval from General Motors Company.  GM previously blocked the sale of Saab to Youngman and fellow Chinese automaker Pang Da over concerns about its intellectual property being handed over to the Chinese.

Muller is reportedly negotiating with Youngman for funding that would allow the company to pay workers their back wages and proceed with its reorganization.  According to one source with knowledge of the negotiations, Youngman has promised to supply the needed funds but has yet to deliver on that promise. The source told TT news agency, “The situation is extremely difficult, but there hasn’t been a decision about bankruptcy.”

Before trading was suspended, rumors of Saab’s impending demise caused a 20 percent drop in the share price.

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