Saab debts far outstrip assets

5:54 min

The debt of the bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab and its subsidiaries far surpass the value of its assets. The debt amounts to almost $2 billion, while the assets are estimated at only $530 million, Swedish Radio News reports.

Today is the last day that companies can bid on the bankrupt estate, and several companies have shown an interest in buying Saab.

Next week the district court in Vänersborg, western Sweden, will hold a session where Guy Lofalk, who is in charge of the debt reconstruction, and Saab CEO Victor Muller will testify under oath that all the assets and debts have been accounted for.

Stefan Löfgren, a journalist who has followed the story for newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, is not sure what is left to buy of Saab.

“It’s a good question. All the engineers have gone to other companies or have started their own businesses. And the other employees have all been laid off,” he tells Radio Sweden. “Half of the factory and all the other buildings are owned by another company so the question is what is left to sell and what a potential buyer will do with it.”

Indian company Mahindra and Chinese company Youngman have expressed interested in buying what is left of Saab.

Turkish company Brightwell Holdings is interested in manufacturing certain Saab models, but that would require approval by Saab's previous owner, General Motors, who has previously been unwilling to release the licenses to the technology it owns.