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After Saab’s request for “reorganization” was approved by a Swedish court today, the carmaker has announced that it will look to restructure itself as an independent entity.
This move is the first step in a process that would allow Saab to restructure itself and renegotiate terms with creditors. This, after Saab said it estimates a loss of $340 million last year and expects a similar loss for 2009.
“We explored and will continue to explore all available options for funding and/or selling Saab,” said Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson. “It was determined a formal reorganization would be the best way to create a truly independent entity that is ready for investment.”
The move comes after General Motors announced in its viability plan submitted to the U.S. Treasury that it would not cover further losses at Saab, but that it would assist financially in the reorganization process. A request to the Swedish government, asking it to take over Saab was also rejected.
General Motors has put forth a “substantial” amount of money to help Saab and has asked the Swedish government for loan guarantees of $600 million to keep Saab afloat. GM has also agreed to help with development and tooling costs of the new 9-5,94x and 9-3x which are scheduled for launch in the next 18 months.
Saab has also applied for 500 million euros from the European Investment Bank and is looking for private investors.
The independent Saab would be centralized in Sweden with design, engineering and manufacturing all taking place in that country.
Saab, which currently employs 4,000 people in Sweden, was sold, in part, to General Motors in 1990, with GM taking full control in 2000. Since the purchase the Swedish automaker has only turned a profit once.
Official Saab Release After the jump: