Supplier seeks Saab bankruptcy - court

STOCKHOLM, Sept 16 Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:14am EDT

STOCKHOLM, Sept 16 (Reuters) - A court in southern Sweden said on Friday it had received more applications for struggling carmaker Saab to be declared bankrupt.

The district court in Vanersborg said it had received four applications from subsidiaries of Japan-based auto safety firm Takata-Petri, relating to debts Saab owes the firm totalling 1.9 million euros ($2.6 million).

The court also said that another company, which claims Saab owes it 1.2 million Swedish crowns ($181,000), had withdrawn its request.

Saab sought creditor protection last week, owing workers their salaries and suppliers hundreds of millions of crowns. Its factory in southwest Sweden has been largely still since early April.

The court rejected Saab's plea and Saab is seeking the right to appeal, saying the lower court had overstepped its remit.

The Appeal court said on Friday that a decision whether to allow Saab another hearing would be taken at the earliest on Monday next week.

If it cannot appeal, bankruptcy looks unavoidable for Saab.

Saab wants creditor protection to give it time until a promised investment of 245 million euros from car firms Pangda Automobile Trade Co Ltd and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile gets the nod from Chinese authorities.

Saab said it expects approval to come in November.

The question is whether the 60 year-old carmaker can survive that long.

Although Saab secured a promise of 70 million euros ($96 million) in vital financing at the start of the week, the money is not enough to cover unpaid wages and its debts so suppliers -- estimated at 150 million euros.

Bankruptcy hearings will start on September 26 and are expected to last three to five weeks.

White-collar union group Unionen and a smaller union, Ledarna, have applied for Saab to be declared bankrupt in order to trigger payments of a state wage-guarantee scheme.

The IF Metall union said on Friday they would hold off until Tuesday next week before handing in its bankruptcy application if Saab does not get the court's protection from creditors before that. ($1 = 6.616 Swedish Kronas) ($1 = 0.722 Euros) (Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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