In a statement issued late Friday, China’s Geely poured cold water over rumors that it is interested in Saab, but confirmed that there was a meeting – because they wanted to be nice. There is another version that says that Sweden’s Finance Minister caused Geely’s Li Shu Fu a massive loss of face, whereupon he took his balls and went home.
“Geely agreed to meet with the relevant party and listened to their pitch out of politeness to Saab’s restructuring team. It was that restructuring team that first contacted Geely through a third party, and they did so hoping that Geely could help with Saab’s restructuring. Geely has no intention to get involved in the restructuring plans of SAAB.” Geely said its executives took the meeting after they had been first contacted through an unnamed third party.
Sweden’s Aftonbladet has a less polite version: The Swedish paper writes today that yesterday, Friday, at 3pm, Geely’s chairman Li Shu Fu hat a meeting scheduled with Finance Minister Anders Borg at the Finance Ministry in Stockholm. Li Shu Fu was ready to make a down-payment of €50 million towards a 100 percent ownership of Saab. Instead of the Finance Minister, his State Secretary Hans Lindblad showed up. Snubbed, Li Shu Fu got up and left the building. Saab is also mighty miffed. Says Aftonbladet:
“Saab has completely lost confidence in their administrator Guy Lofalk and plans to go to the District Court in Vänersborg on Monday to ask to have him removed.”