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Saab crisis

Government approves new loan for Saab

Published fredag 15 april 2011 kl 18.24
Photo: Scanpix. Montage: SR.

The government will help Swedish auto manufacturer Saab out of the financial crisis. At a press conference on Friday Maud Olofsson, the minister of enterprise and energy, gave Saab the go-ahead and borrow money.

“Saab has been given the go-ahead to borrow money for their operations,” she said. “In practice this means that the tax-payers are less vulnerable since the government’s guarantee loan is reduced down from.”

The decision will allow Saab to raise cash by selling its real estate to a Russian businessman and leasing it back, reports news agency AP. Saab, bought last year by Dutch company Spyker, needs money to pay suppliers and restart its plant in southwestern Sweden, where work has been suspended since last week.

The Russian business man Vladimir Antonov has also applied to become a part-owner of Saab but the government has not yet made a decision on whether to allow new owners for the company, Swedish Radio News reports.

New owners can only be allowed if General Motors, the government and the European Investment Bank agrees, Olofsson said.

The government’s decision essentially means that Saab’s loan from the European Investment Bank is lowered from 400 euro to 280 million euro. So far the company has borrowed 217 million euro, according to news agency TT.

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