UPDATE 3-Spyker in sale, leaseback talks to fund Saab

Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:19am EDT

Related Topics

* Saab assets pledged as collateral with Swedish debt office

* Spyker seeks sale, leaseback for Saab real estate

* Production to remain stalled through Wednesday-report

* Spyker shares up 0.5 pct

(Adds detail on Saab production, updates share price)

By Sara Webb

AMSTERDAM, April 11 (Reuters) - The Dutch owner of Saab is trying to sell and lease back the Swedish carmaker's real estate to raise cash to pay suppliers and resume output, the company said on Monday.

Production at Saab remained stalled on Monday and a spokesman was quoted as saying the stoppage could last through Wednesday.

Spyker, the Dutch sportscar maker which bought loss-making Saab from General Motors (GM.N) last year, has said the company is not facing collapse but a short-term liquidity crunch.

"Spyker confirms that it is in discussion with a financial institution on the sale and lease back of Saab Automobile's real estate property," it said in a statement.

Spyker did not indicate how much it could raise from a deal but it said in its annual report that Saab's property, plant and equipment was valued at 248.4 million euros ($357.7 million) at the end of 2010.

"The outcome of the discussions is still uncertain and subject to the approval of the Swedish National Debt Office. It is expected that further announcements will be made shortly," Spyker said.

A suppliers' group has said companies are owed tens of millions of crowns by Saab. [ID:nLDE7371YP]

Workers were sent home last week and Swedish news agency TT quoted a Saab spokesman as saying production would remain halted and employees allowed to stay home through Wednesday this week.

A Saab spokeswoman speaking separately to Reuters would not confirm the report, saying the company would not provide a timeline for returning to production until it made an announcement on its financial situation.

Spyker shares were up 0.5 percent at 4.113 euros at 1434 GMT, outperforming a flat Amsterdam smallcap index .ASCX.

EYES ON RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN

Spyker has said it is looking at several ways to raise money and ease the cash squeeze.

A Swedish business daily reported last week that Spyker was trying to release some of the collateral pledged against state-guaranteed loans to raise funds.

"Almost all fixed assets of the Saab entities are held by three direct subsidiaries of Saab Automobile," according to Spyker's 2010 annual report.

"The shares in these three subsidiaries are pledged in favour of the Swedish National Debt Office ("NDO") as security for the guarantee NDO provided to EIB in relation to the 400 million euro loan from EIB to Saab Automobile."

Spyker is in talks with U.S. and European banks about refinancing and increasing the existing 400 million euro credit facility with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

In the longer term, Saab is hoping for an investment from Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, a move over which Swedish authorities have the final say. (Additional reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by David Cowell) ($1=.6943 Euro)

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