Saab declares bankruptcy.
After hopes of receiving life support in the form of money from Chinese investors collapsed, Saab filed for liquidation on December 19.
Dutch entrepreneur Viktor Muller acquired Saab from General Motors last year, but was not able to obtain the money needed to get Saab out of the financial turmoil.
Muller’s efforts to keep the company afloat became desperate after suppliers stopped extending credit last spring, forcing a halt to production at the company’s main plant, in Trollhättan. Saab’s unions began legal proceedings in September that could have led to the company’s liquidation, and Muller responded by voluntarily seeking court protection from creditors. In a last bid for survival, Saab had been trying to arrange an infusion of cash from Chinese investors, including Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile. But General Motors, which retained an effective veto on any deal because it holds key Saab patents, refused to back the arrangement, fearing it would “negatively impact G.M.’s existing relationships in China.”
In its statement, Swedish Automobile said Youngman, having considered G.M.’s position, “informed Saab Automobile that the funding to continue and complete the reorganization of Saab Automobile could not be concluded.”
“The board of Saab Automobile subsequently decided that the company without further funding will be insolvent, and that filing bankruptcy is in the best interests of its creditors,” the statement said.
“It is expected that the court will approve of the filing and appoint receivers for Saab Automobile very shortly.” Swedish Automobile “does not expect to realize any value from its shares in Saab Automobile,” the statement concluded, “and will write off its interest in Saab Automobile completely.”