NEW YORK -- Saab Chairman Victor Muller hopes to receive a decision from the European Investment Bank as early as this week that will keep Saab Automobile AB in business.
Saab's ability to resume production depends on the bank's willingness to give up the Swedish company's real estate as collateral. Saab wants Russian investor Vladimir Antonov to buy the buildings, equipment and real estate for about 30 million euros, or $43.7 million, and lease those assets back to Saab.
"We're waiting for the white smoke from the European Investment Bank," Muller said last week on the sidelines of the New York auto show.
Saab said it would use the receipts from the sale to pay suppliers who have refused to deliver parts because of inadequate payments. Assembly was suspended at the end of March.
The snag is that Saab's buildings, equipment and real estate are pledged as collateral for a 400 million-euro line of credit from the European Investment Bank.
The Swedish government, which guaranteed the loans to Saab, said it would approve the transfer of collateral and the sale to Antonov and will continue to guarantee the loan.
Muller said it would take a week to resume production once the sales proceeds are received.