Saab Auto Owner May Liquidate as Sale May Not Raise Enough Cash

Saab Auto Owner May Liquidate
A visitor approaches the main gate at the Saab Automobile factory in Trollhaettan. Photographer: Erik Abel/Bloomberg

Swedish Automobile NV, the Dutch owner of Saab Automobile, may liquidate even if it succeeds in selling the former General Motors Co. brand, as the proceeds may not be enough to pay off creditors.

Swedish Automobile, which has tentative agreements to dispose of Saab as well as its Spyker sports-car business, will consider “all of its options,” including a voluntary liquidation should the deals go through, the Zeewolde, Netherlands-based company said today in a statement.

The transactions would raise 132 million euros ($181 million) and would be insufficient to cover the company’s 136.5 million euros in debt, said Swedish Automobile, also known as Swan. A lack of approvals and final agreements on the deals raises questions about “the future of Swan and any settlement with stakeholders,” the company said.

GM, which sold Trollhaettan, Sweden-based Saab last year to the sports-car manufacturer, then called Spyker Cars, said on Nov. 7 that it wouldn’t approve a planned shift of the unit to two companies in China as the Detroit-based automaker sought to protect its interests in the country. Saab has built few cars since it first stopped production in March because of a lack of cash, and is under court-administered protection from creditors.

Clearance of the Saab sale is also required from Chinese authorities, the Swedish government and the European Investment Bank. The preliminary agreement with Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., the prospective Saab buyers, is valid until Nov. 15. Swedish Automobile said today that it’s in discussions with GM about gaining the U.S. carmaker’s consent.

Swedish Automobile is also continuing talks with North Street Capital LP about a final agreement on the sale of Spyker. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based private-equity firm tentatively agreed in September to buy the manufacturer of the C8 Aileron supercar for 32 million euros.

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