Saab staff to be paid after new share issue

Employees at troubled Swedish automaker Saab are finally set to get paid salaries for July after Swedish Automobile, the troubled carmaker's Dutch owner, announed Wednesday it was issuing new shares.

Saab staff to be paid after new share issue

“Swedish Automobile announces today that it issued a subscription notice for five million shares under the current 150-million-euro equity facility between Swan and GEM Global Yield Fund Limited” an investment fund which already has a stake in the company, it said in a statement.

According to company’s share price in early trading on the Amsterdam stock exchange, the sale would generate about 6.4 million euros ($9.2 million).

Saab, which is facing a mounting liquidity crisis and bankruptcy threats, added it the statement it expected to be able to pay the salaries of some 1,600 staff for July.

Company spokesman Eric Geers told the TT news agency the cash from the share issue would come in “early enough so we can pay … workers this week.”

Swedish Automobile said it was working on a solution to find more short-term funding that could allow it to “restart and sustain production,” which has been halted on and off since April.

Iconic Swedish brand Saab was saved at the last minute at the beginning of 2010 when it was bought by small Dutch firm Spyker — now known as Swedish Automobile — from US giant GM.

The new owner had big ambitions for Saab but the carmaker has since then lurched from one cash crisis to another.

At the end of July, Saab had 3,700 employees.

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Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.