The CDO Magnate Behind New Saab

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
the cdo magnate behind new saab

This morning, bankrupt automaker General Motors, their failed SAAB subsidiary, low-volume independent automaker Koenigsegg, and the Swedish government signed a deal for Saab’s future. Oh yeah, and some guy named Mark Bishop, an “American investor.” Who he? Can you say “junk bonds” and “sub-prime”? But before we look at Bishop’s CV, let’s break this deal down to its constituent parts . . .

Through his company Alpraaz, Christian von Koenigsegg will have a 42.6 percent stake in the newly reformed Saab. American investor Mark Bishop will hold a 22.2 percent share. Norwegian designer, industrial engineer and inventor Bård Eker will have 11.8 percent. The remaining 23.4 percent will be held by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, which again is co-owned by Eker and Koenigsegg, split equally.

OK, so, money man Mark Bishop was once a VP at Drexel Burnham Lambert—or so he says in every web res I found. Even if true, it tells you a lot about Bishop that he’s boasting about his time with the bankrupt Burnham boys, who pleaded no lo contendre moments before a grand jury was going to hand out a RICO indictment.

After that debacle, Bishop co-founded the now-defunct Brentwood Financial Group, “managing the bulk purchase, and subsequent pooling and sales of conforming and non-conforming residential mortgage loans on a national scale.” He then assumed the Presidency of IMPAC Mortgage Acceptance Corporation (more “non-conforming residential loans”). Bishop leveraged that experience to become President of sub-prime lender Novelle Financial Services.

Bishop’s now Managing Director of Liquiddium, a self-professed “leading private equity company that concentrates on “creative real estate transactions in select markets throughout the United States.” “Creative” as in specializing in real estate deals gone bad. “Creative” as in based in Malibu. “Creative” as in “properties are acquired on an all-cash basis as well as with the use of leverage.” At the same time, Bishop’s the MD and CEO of ABS Investment Group, selling residential mortgage-backed securities.

In short, the guy is up to his eyeballs in predatory lending and re-packaging of same. Now that CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) are a no go, Bishop’s moved on. However he insinuated himself into this deal (a story I’d dearly love to hear), Bishop’s goal is clear: strip and flip Saab using Swedish government money.

Bishop’s appearance on the post-C11 Saab scene is not a good sign for the brand. In fact, it could be a potential deal-breaker for the Swedish government, once this info gets out. Look for Bishop to get the old heave-ho. And not a moment too soon. In fact, what the hell were these guys thinking?

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2 of 11 comments
  • Bill h. Bill h. on Jun 16, 2009

    "This reeks of sensationalism and rampant speculation." Well, "calling it as we see it" doesn't always preclude that. Good call.

  • CPTG CPTG on Jun 16, 2009

    For me, its personal. In 1992, I got hit walking in the cross walk by a Saab that blew the light. I broke my leg in several pieces and, although healed, I have been 'Saabing' quietly ever since. Saab, as a car company, is a bit of a joke. It's one factory (more like a fancy coach builder) that doesn't even produce its own engines/transmissions!!! What is more of a joke is investment companies running car companies---Cyberus has done a smash-up job running Chrysler (into the ground), why not ABS on a smaller scale?

  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines.
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.