Swedish automaker Saab expects a positive outcome from the negotiations aimed at securing $600 million in loans from the European Investment Bank, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
General Motors Co GM.UL signed a deal to sell Saab to small Swedish luxury carmaker Koenigsegg in August, but the closure of the deal is contingent on Saab receiving the loans from the European Investment Bank, guaranteed by the Swedish government.
We expect the loan we have applied for, we will get that so we will have the necessary cash and move into the future, Saab Chief Executive Jan Ake Jonsson told Reuters on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Motor Show. He expected the negotiations to be concluded by the end of October.
As part of its efforts to finance the purchase, Koenigsegg also struck a deal in September with Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings to sell a minority stake in Saab to the state-run Chinese automaker.
Jonsson expects Saab to post growth in vehicle sales next year after the sale process is completed. This year, sales will be down significantly from 2008 when it sold more than 93,000 units, he said.
Sales forecasts for this year would depend on getting the financing in place and closing the sale, Jonsson said. Next year, hopefully the market will start to move in the right direction. We will be better than this year.
Jonsson said the investment by Beijing Automotive would also support its turnaround, presenting an opportunity for Saab to expand sales in the fast-growing Chinese market.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Richard Chang)