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chinese sale

Saab's owner and workers triumphant

Published fredag 28 oktober 2011 kl 15.41
"The company is now secure"
(4:13 min)

According to a statement handed in to Vänersborg court today as part of Saab's reorganisation, "Pang Da and Youngman will acquire all shares in Saab Automobile AB."

Guy Lofalk, appointed to oversee Saab's reconstruction on state support, says that he is now happy to keep on with the reconstruction. He's taking back his call for Saab to go bankrupt.

While the re-starting of Saab as a real car-maker, after seven months shut-down, could be a long process, right now the Saab management are jubilant and triumphant.

Swedish Radio News talked to a tired Victor Muller, owner of Saab, who admitted that he'd only got three hours of sleep last night.

"The future of the company is now secure."

But Victor Muller will soon step down as CEO, possibly staying on as an advisor.

The Dutch businessman bought Saab almost two years ago from General Motors in the USA. The price then was $US 74m (plus $US 326m in shares for GM).

Now Pang Da and Youngman are buying the company, for over $US 141m. Victor Muller has recently come under fire for apparently making big money out of his time as Saab CEO.

At a press conference today he hit back at these reports, attacking Sweden's media, especially the state TV news SVT, saying that they had totally over-estimated his pay-off as CEO. He says that he will not make much from this Chinese sale, except as a major share owner in Swedish Automobile, which now owns Saab.

Swedish Automobile shares on the Amsterdam stock exchange had gone up by 38 per cent already by this morning, after the news of the sale.

But for Saab workers' union representatives, the story has mostly been about how the company is now saved. Talking to news agency TT, Håkan Skött from the metalworkers' union says that he sees Victor Muller as someone who's fought extremely hard for Saab's survival.

But this survival will only be worth something to Swedish workers if the jobs and factory stays in west Sweden's Trollhätten. Victor Muller says that the Chinese owners have no plans at all to move production. He says that Saab is now home and dry, just like Volvo is under Chinese ownership.

But first the Chinese state development company and General Motors both have to agree to the sale. Martin Sköld, economic researcher at Stockholm's Handelshögskolan, says that the length of this process is hard to asses, and could take months.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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