Chinese Youngman Bid to Buy SAAB

Chinese car maker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. has placed a bid of approximately 3.2 billion Swedish kronor ($470 million) for the assets of bankrupt Swedish car maker Saab Automobile AB and is prepared to invest another 10 billion kronor in the company, according to a report in Swedish daily Dagens Industri(ID).

“That is the lowest price pledgees and real estate owners are willing to accept,” a source told ID.

The source notes that Bo Lundgren, general director of the Swedish National Debt Office, or NDO, has said the authority will not release its collateral in the bankrupt company unless it gets all of the SEK2.2 billion it lent to Saab Auto, through the European Investment Bank, back.

If the NDO does not get its money back, it will keep Saab’s profitable subsidiary Saab Automobile Parts and only sell it at a later time, according to the paper.

Youngman was one of the Chinese investors that stepped forward when the struggling Swedish auto maker ran out of cash last year and was forced to seek court protection from its creditors. But General Motors Co. (GM) refused to license the technology which provides the basis for Saab’s existing models to any purchaser likely to compete head-to-head with it in China, where the group is a major player. Saab Auto filed for bankruptcy in December last year.

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