TIMELINE-Saab gets payment lifeline

Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:20am EST

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Ailing carmaker Saab has received a first payment from China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile as it struggles to stay in business and faces a crucial court hearing on its future this week.

Here is a timeline of events at Sweden's Saab in the last two years:

Jan. 26, 2010 - Niche Dutch sportscar maker Spyker buys Saab from GM for $400 million, with $74 million in cash and the rest in deferred shares.

Jan. 5, 2011 - Spyker says Saab sold 31,696 cars in 2010 after cutting its full-year target to 30,000 from 35,000 units.

March 29 - Saab halts production due to disputes over non-payment of suppliers.

April 28 - Sweden's Debt Office and GM give initial approval for an investment of 30 million euros in Saab by Russian investor Vladimir Antonov, in exchange for a 29.9 percent stake.

May 2 - Saab lines up almost 60 million euros in funds to restart production after a month of stoppages.

May 16 - Spyker announces a deal with China's Pang Da Automobile Trade Co Ltd worth as much as 110 million euros. Saab restarts production on May 27.

June 13 - Spyker says it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co to take a 29.9 percent stake and Pang Da to take a 24 percent stake for a combined 245 million euros ($352 million).

June 27 - Saab says it has secured funds to pay wages and some suppliers, staving off the threat of collapse. Owner Swedish Automobile, until recently called Spyker, says an undisclosed Chinese company has ordered 582 Saabs for 13 million euros.

July 4/5 - A 255-million crown ($40 million) property sale and leaseback deal with a consortium headed by Hemfosa Fastigeheter is approved by Sweden's Debt Office and the EIB, easing Saab's plight.

Sept. 21 - Saab wins court protection from creditors while it awaits Chinese investment.

Sept. 28 - Swedish Automobile says it will sell its Spyker luxury sports car business to the private equity firm of racing car enthusiast Alex Mascioli for about 32 million euros.

Oct. 28 - Pang Da and Youngman agree to buy Saab for 100 million euros from Swedish Automobile.

Oct. 31 - Pang Da and Youngman say they are targeting sales of up to 55,000 Saab cars for 2012 and promise volume of up to 205,000 units per year longer term.

Nov. 7 - GM says it will stop supplying components and technology if two Chinese companies succeed with their acquisition bid.

-- Victor Muller, chief executive of Swedish Automobile, says GM's rejection of the proposed rescue plan means that negotiators will have to "go back to the drawing board" with Chinese investors Pang Da and Youngman Lotus.

Dec. 5 - A Chinese bank is in talks about taking a stake in Saab, the latest attempt to rescue the crisis-hit car maker. The next day, GM says it will not support a proposed ownership structure that includes a Chinese bank

Dec. 7 - Saab faces a fresh threat when a court-appointed administrator says its protection from bankruptcy should be removed due to a failure to secure Chinese investments.

Dec. 13 - Saab receives a first payment from China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile as it struggles to stay in business. Media reports that $5 million will cover immediate tax expenses.

-- A court should decide on Dec. 16 whether to keep Saab in a scheme which grants it protection from creditors while it secures itself a stable future.

Sources: Reuters/ www.saabusa.com.

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