Carmaker Saab names another administrator

STOCKHOLM Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:40pm EST

STOCKHOLM Dec 15 (Reuters) - Struggling carmaker Saab suffered its latest embarrassment on Thursday as it was forced to name a new administrator a day after identifying another lawyer to take the key role, himself a replacement for a previous administrator who had quit.

The appointment comes days ahead of a court decision that could push Saab closer to bankruptcy.

Sweden's Vanersborg District Court said Saab had put forward Lars Soderqvist of law firm Hokerberg & Soderqvist as its new administrator, having said on Wednesday another lawyer called Lars-Henrik Andersson would take the position.

It admitted on Thursday Andersson had subsequently turned the post down.

The company had said earlier this week that previous administrator Guy Lofalk had decided to quit, though media reports said Victor Muller, chief executive of Saab's parent Swedish Automobile, had wanted Lofalk to go.

The Vanersborg court is due to decide on Monday whether to keep Saab in a scheme which grants it protection from creditors while it secures itself a stable future.

Saab, one of Sweden's best-known brands, has been teetering on the edge of collapse since early this year when a cash crunch forced it to halt production.

Last week, the company's administrator called on the court to end a period of creditor protection because Saab, owned by Dutch-listed Swedish Automobile, was out of money.

On Tuesday, Saab said it got a payment from China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile, which wants to take a stake in the firm. But more funding is necessary to pay staff and suppliers and get production up and running again. (Reporting by Mia Shanley and Patrick Lannin; Editing by David Holmes)

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