According to media reports and TTAC, all kinds of high-powered parties are interested in sucking the last bone marrow out of the corpse of bankrupt Saab. China’s Youngman supposedly is ready to plunk down a billion Euro (or $1.3 billion) for the carcass. In Turkey, Brightwell Holdings “will make a bid very shortly, there’s no question,” as Brightwell board member Zamier Ahmen told Bloomberg. The trouble is: Nobody is bidding.
“There have been no formal bids,” receiver Anne-Marie Pouteaux told Reuters. Her colleague Hans Bergvist added that they “ have had discussions with a number of interested parties. Some of them are interested in the factory as a whole and some of them are interested in parts of it.” But no, no bid.
It would be folly to place a bid, because even the receivers don’t know yet what that bid will buy. In a press conference on Saturday, receiver Hans Bergvist said:
“Everything that was possible to pawn in Saab has been pawned. The work to identify Saab’s assets is not yet complete, but we have come a long way.”
Anybody who had lent Saab money recently, did so with assets pledged. In July, just as a for instance, Saab sold 50.1 percent of its real estate holdings to a consortium led by Hemfosa Fastigheter AB, for about $40m. They leased it right back, with the proviso that the rest is security for the rent. Should Saab default on the rent, the contract allegedly said, then the consortium will say tack så mycket and owns the whole thing.
Even in a bunker in Sweden, from which the last faithful had been sending blog posts in support of the zombie brand, defeatism makes the rounds.
“The headline everywhere is “Saab is dead”, which actually, right now, is true.”
This amazing revelation comes from Saabsunited, which continues:
“The fact that Saab has not even had money to buy toilet-paper since march is a fact that not a lot of people knew about. We’ve heard horror story after horror story from Saab employees and suppliers describing how a company has to act when it is completely out of money and saving up on absolutely everything! But despite having to clean the offices, toilets, kitchens and even buy supplies themselves for their own money the employees stayed at their post! They did not leave which is the biggest evidence of how great Saab actually was.”
They said it: Was.
And the reaction from the peanut gallery?