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Saab to exit bunkruptcy

2009-08-20 12:56
Troubled Swedish carmaker Saab's six-month period of bankruptcy protection ended Thursday as the group decided not to ask a court for an extension.

The Saab Automobile group in February filed for protection from its creditors after its US-owner General Motors announced it would cut its ties with the Swedish carmaker by the end of 2009.

In documents to the court in Vanersborg near its Swedish base in Trollhattan, south-western Sweden, Saab said it had been able to write off debt worth $1.1bn.

Earlier this week GM said it has inked a deal to sell its shares in its loss-making Swedish subsidiary to the Koenigsegg Group - a
consortium structured around a low-volume Swedish sportscar maker.

However, questions remain over financing. The Swedish government of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has ruled out that the
government would offer emergency loans to the Koenigsegg Group.

Reinfeldt told reporters Wednesday that his government was "not prepared to be risk capitalist for the wealthy."

The government said the Koeniggsegg Group has to get "sizeable amounts of private capital."

The consortium also has to negotiate with the European Investment Bank on loans reportedly worth an estimated $600m
dollars, which in turn hinge on a Swedish state loan guarantee.

Koenigsegg Group Chairman Augie Fabela on Tuesday told the financial daily Dagens Industri 70% of the financing has
been achieved and that the remaining portion would take some months to secure.

GM's interest in Saab - one of Europe's smallest carmakers - dates back to the early 1990s. The company took full control in

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Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

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