Our Daily Saab: Lofalk To Request Mercy Killing, Saab To Request Lofalk's Ouster

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Guy Lofalk, the administrator of Saab’s reorganization, will ask the court in Vänersborg to terminate the reorganization process. Before, Saab expressed “ doubts that the bridge funding of Youngman and Pang Da, of which a partial payment has been received, shall be paid in full on 22 October 2011.” Finally something we can agree on.

What happens if the court accepts Lofalk’s recommendation? Stockholm News explains it:

“If the voluntary reorganization will be terminated is determined by Vänersborg District Court. It would mean that the resting bankruptcy claims against the company comes back into force.


The Swedish Enforcement Authority would also resume its recovery of the about SEK 1.4 billion of debts that Saab owes suppliers.”

In other words: The end.

Lofalk doesn’t seem to be impressed by the last ditch offer from U.S. private-equity firm North Street Capital. It probably has something to do with the fact that the loan would be partially collateralized by assets other creditors might want to get their hands on. Interviewed by Reuters, Lofalk said the $70 million promised by North Street Capital on Thursday for Saab would be far from enough to continue reorganization – if it ever arrives:

“The money is not enough to continue the reorganization. Now, an application to terminate the reorganization has been mailed. It should be on the court’s desk tomorrow.”

Lofalk added that the $70 million promised by North Street Capital on Thursday for Saab was far from enough to continue reorganization.

Lofalk also has written-off Youngman and Pangda as saviors:

“I can just say that the parties didn’t manage to reach an agreement on a sale.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Saab will contest Lofalk’s application and request that the reorganization continues. Saab will also ask the court to give the heave-ho to Lofalk, and to appoint a new administrator. That’s a lot to ask for. As a court-appointed administrator, Lofalk works for the court and for the creditors, he doesn’t work for Victor Muller. The Vänersborg court had doubted the viability of the reconstruction in the first place and was overturned on appeal. What’s “I told you so” in Swedish?

The reaction in Swedish media – openly or between the lines – is that Lofalk wants to sell Saab lock, stock and barrel to the Chinese. He praised Youngman and Pangda, and implicitly blamed Muller for the failed negotiations. He wants Muller out – apparently also because the Chinese want full control.

In an interview with The New York Times, Victor Muller echoed that suspicion:

“Mr. Lofalk is completely focused on an ownership change. He wants to force Swedish Automobile to sell Saab.”

How would you decide as a Swedish judge?

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 13 comments
  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.
  • GregLocock Car companies can only really sell cars that people who are new car buyers will pay a profitable price for. As it turns out fewer and fewer new car buyers want sedans. Large sedans can be nice to drive, certainly, but the number of new car buyers (the only ones that matter in this discussion) are prepared to sacrifice steering and handling for more obvious things like passenger and cargo space, or even some attempt at off roading. We know US new car buyers don't really care about handling because they fell for FWD in large cars.
  • Slavuta Why is everybody sweating? Like sedans? - go buy one. Better - 2. Let CRV/RAV rust on the dealer lot. I have 3 sedans on the driveway. My neighbor - 2. Neighbors on each of our other side - 8 SUVs.
  • Theflyersfan With sedans, especially, I wonder how many of those sales are to rental fleets. With the exception of the Civic and Accord, there are still rows of sedans mixed in with the RAV4s at every airport rental lot. I doubt the breakdown in sales is publicly published, so who knows... GM isn't out of the sedan business - Cadillac exists and I can't believe I'm typing this but they are actually decent - and I think they are making a huge mistake, especially if there's an extended oil price hike (cough...Iran...cough) and people want smaller and hybrids. But if one is only tied to the quarterly shareholder reports and not trends and the big picture, bad decisions like this get made.
Next