* Saab 2011 production target of 80,000 not achievable
* Spyker is raising funds from existing shareholders
* Q1 net loss 72 mln euros, vs Q4 loss 39 mln euros
* In talks with Chinese, others, aims to restart production
* Shares down 1.6 pct
(Adds CEO comment, updates shares, links)
By Sara Webb and Fang Yan
AMSTERDAM/BEIJING, April 29 The outlook for
Swedish carmaker Saab deteriorated further on Friday as its
Dutch parent Spyker Cars NV SPYKR.AS cut its 2011 target and
turned to shareholders as well as Chinese companies for funds.
Amsterdam-listed Spyker bought Saab from General Motors Co
(GM.N) a year ago but has struggled to turn around the company.
In recent weeks it has desperately scrambled to find new
sources of funding so it can pay its suppliers, after several
stopped delivering parts, bringing Saab's assembly line to a
standstill for much of April.
On Thursday, Spyker was thrown a lifeline when Sweden's Debt
Office and GM both said they approved a plan for Russian
entrepreneur Vladimir Antonov to invest 30 million euros in
Spyker in return for a 29.9 percent stake. [ID:nLDE73R1KW]
While Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller welcomed the Debt
Office's approval, he said it was just the first step and that
other commitments, for example from the Swedish government, were
required before Antonov could provide funding.
"It is unclear at this time what the consequences of the
recent production stoppages and funding issues will be for our
full year 2011 forecast but it is realistic to assume that
realising our 80,000 cars sales forecast is no longer feasible,"
Muller said in a statement.
Muller is in China as part of his hunt for fresh funds.
Russian investor gets initial nod [ID:nLDE73R1KW]
Factbox on Antonov [ID:nLDE73R19D]
Five facts on Dutch Spyker Cars [ID:nLDE69S0QI]
Saab fans hope for turbocharged saviour [ID:nLDE73S19O]
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters one of the
companies Spyker was talking to was Great Wall Motor Co Ltd
(2333.HK), China's largest sports utility vehicle maker.
Muller declined to comment.
Chinese carmakers want to expand their product ranges at a
time when sales at home are expected to slow after the
government withdrew policy incentives that helped elevate the
country to the world's top auto market in 2009. [ID:nL3E7FI0YI]
As recently as late March, Spyker stuck to its target for
Saab to sell 80,000 cars this year versus about 30,000 in 2010.
"To ensure adequate liquidity both in the short term and for
the remainder of this year, management is currently raising
funds from current shareholders and pursuing various initiatives
to improve the group's liquidity and strengthen the group's
balance sheet," the company said, but did not give details.
Martin Crum, analyst at AEK Research, said a share issue was
very likely. "This is inevitable and part of the package. The
issue can happen very quickly or in a few months' time."
Spyker shares were down 1.6 percent by 1400 GMT. The stock
rose 13 percent on Thursday on news the Debt Office had given
approval for Antonov to invest in the group.
Last month, Spyker issued 5.55 million shares, equivalent to
32 percent of its outstanding capital, when it issued new shares
and swapped debt into equity. [ID:nLDE72O0BW]
Spyker, whose first-quarter loss widened to 72 million euros
from 39 million in the fourth quarter, reiterated it was in
talks with various parties to improve its liquidity.
"We are hopeful that these discussions will result in a
solution very shortly so we can resume production," Muller said.
Saab sold 9,674 cars in the first quarter, up 167 percent
from a year ago when production was disrupted at the time when
GM had put it up for sale.
One of Sweden's best-known brands, Saab has struggled to
make money for two decades. Swedish bank Nordea said in a report
this week that if Saab were to go bankrupt, it would have
relatively little impact on the Swedish economy, perhaps nicking
0.2 percentage points off the country's GDP.
In addition to Saab's 3,350 employees, a further 5,000
working in related industries would risk losing their jobs if
the company were closed, Nordea said.
(Additional reporting by Gilbert Kreijger and Vincent Kroft;
Editing by Mike Nesbit, David Holmes and Erica Billingham)