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Saab to sell and lease back property

  • Car maker will sell 50% share in Saab Property
  • and enter a 15-year lease-back agreement
  • Continues to look for short-term funding
Words ByAndy Pringle

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Saab has made further moves to guarantee its future after reaching conditional agreement on a sale and lease-back deal worth 28m (25m approx).

Under the terms of the deal, Saab Automobile will sell just over half of its shares in Saab Property to a consortium of Swedish investors and enter a 15-year lease agreement with the new owners.

That will generate 28m, but the investors have the right to buy more shares to the value of 5m within 30 days of the deal closing.

However, for the deal to go ahead, Saab needs the agreement of the European Investment Bank (which has loaned 400m to the company), the Swedish National Debt Office (which guarantees that loan) and the Swedish Government.

In the meantime, the company is continuing its discussions to secure additional short-term funding to allow car production to restart. However, it admits that there is no guarantee that these negotiations will be successful.

That is in spite of the news announced on Monday this week that a Chinese company had agreed to order 582 Saab cars in a deal worth 13m.

It had been hoped that this injection of cash would allow Saab to pay its workforce and some of its suppliers, thereby allowing production to restart.

For now, though, the plants remain idle.