The Swedish National Debt Office, the SNDO, concluded its discussions with Saab Automobile AB regarding the financing proposal presented by Saab already on Tuesday of this week.
An agreement on principles had been finalized during the course of Sunday evening, with Saab drafting the necessary agreements on Monday and some final adjustments being made on Tuesday. The agreements are now ready to be executed, pending the approval of the European Investment Bank, the EIB.
The SNDO intends to release the shares in PropCo, a property company owned by Saab. The intention is to enable Saab Automobile AB to enter into a sale-lease-back arrangement in order to strengthen the company’s liquidity. The transaction needs the EIB’s approval.
The SNDO has security in respect of Saab’s counter-indemnity for a state guarantee which was issued in order for Saab to obtain a loan for a maximum of EUR 400 million from the EIB. To date Saab has drawn EUR 217 million on that facility.
The SNDO intends to release a part of the security not required to cover Saab’s present obligations. Concurrently, the maximum loan amount with the EIB is reduced from EUR 400 million to EUR 280 million.
The agreement made by Saab with its counterparties fulfills the requirements set by the SNDO and the Swedish Government – the transaction will secure reasonable consideration for Saab, integrity issues regarding the buyer have been adequately addressed, and the payment to Saab will be made from a bank licensed within the European Union.
The Swedish taxpayers will also after the release have adequate security covering the current exposure under Saab’s counter-indemnity, as the maximum amount that can be drawn from the EIB facility has been reduced.
Acceptance of new owners
The release of security does not change the ownership structure in Saab Automobile AB. The question of accepting Mr. Vladimir Antonov as a new owner in Saab is thus a separate issue.
The SNDO’s and the Swedish Government’s ownership assessment of Mr Antonov arises from a separate, already existing agreement between Saab Automobile AB and the SNDO. The EIB and General Motors will also have to take an independent view on the matter, in a process separate from that of the SNDO.
The SNDO’s assessment of Mr Vladimir Antonov as a possible owner of Saab is delayed as Mr Antonov has not been available for a meeting with the SNDO.