Saab looks to be almost back in business, with the automaker announcing this week the finalization of yet another cash injection deal as well as a tentative August date for the restart of production at its main plant in Trollhattan, Sweden.
Saab has announced that it has obtained final approval from Swedish regulatory bodies, including the European Investment Bank, for the sale and lease back of some of its land. The deal, which was first announced late last month, involves a consortium of Swedish real estate investors led by Hemfosa Fastigheter that will purchase 50.1 percent of the shares in Saab Property for approximately $40 million.
Of this amount, $32.25 million will go directly to Saab, while the remainder will go into a bond. The investment group will also have the ability to increase its holdings by another $7.2 million within 30 days.
Last week Saab also made the bold announcement that it will be developing three new models, an entry-level 9-1, a 9-6X crossover and 9-7 flagship sedan, together with Chinese partner Zhejian Youngman Lotus Automobile. Saab has also received cash from another Chinese partner, dealer group Pang Da Automobile, which has paid $42 million in advance for an order of Saab vehicles.
In total, Saab has raised about $87 million from all its funding commitments over the past weeks and is now in a much better position to negotiation with suppliers on materials supply and paying its bills--the original cause for the automaker’s production halt.
Given the fact that some of Saab’s suppliers require a longer lead time to resume adequate supplies and the delay as a result of the recent shutdowns at many of Saab’s European suppliers, the automaker now plans to restart production by Tuesday August 9, provided that everything remains on track.