Saab files for bankruptcy protection

  • Company seeks to protect itself from creditors
  • Owner General Motors still wants to sell it
  • Swedish Government attacks GM's approach
Car maker Saab has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company is owned by embattled US car giant General Motors, and is seeking to safeguard its assets from creditors while it undergoes restructuring.

GM has been trying to sell Saab for some time, and it is hoped the bankruptcy protection proceedings will help the process by giving it time to reorganise its structure.

'We explored and will continue to explore all available options for funding and/or selling Saab,' Jan-Ake Jonsson, the managing director, said.

'It was determined a formal reorganisation would be the best way to create a truly independent entity that is ready for investment.'

Saab said that it would seek funding for the company from both public and private sources during the reorganisation process.

Yesterday it was reported that General Motors was prepared to pump $400 million (£280 million) into Saab to help Saab become profitable if the Swedish Government agreed to match its stake.

However, on Wednesday the Swedish Government ruled out owning car makers or their factories - accusing GM of shirking its responsibility as an owner.

'The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories,' Maud Olofsson, the enterprise minister, said. 'We are very disappointed in General Motors. We are not prepared to risk taxpayers' money; this is not a game of Monopoly.'

Saab employs 4100 workers in Sweden, with another 10,000 jobs linked to sub-contractors, making it an industrial powerhouse in a country with a population of 9 million people.

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