August 10, 2011 / 5:42 PM / 7 years ago

More Saab suppliers to brandish bankruptcy threat

STOCKHOLM, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Some European suppliers are preparing to demand cash-strapped Swedish Automobile be declared bankrupt, hoping the threat will pressure the carmaker into paying debts, an auto industry group said on Wednesday.

Car production at Saab, rescued from bankruptcy in early 2010 by Netherlands-based Swedish Automobile, ground to a standstill in April because suppliers who had not been paid refused to deliver components.

Lars Holmqvist, head of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, told Reuters that Spanish auto panels maker Matrici S. Coop was preparing a bankruptcy request, claiming it is owed 2 million euros ($2.8 million).

Matrici was not immediately available for comment.

In July, Saab fended off a demand for one of its units to be declared bankrupt after reaching a settlement with SwePart Verktyg AB.

“Some companies are waiting and having no answer. Now, some have heard that other companies have been paid partially. Then they are getting very upset,” Holmqvist said. “They realise there is no other way but to try to demand bankruptcy because obviously then Saab pays.”

He said he had been contacted by some German companies that say they are owed more than 5 million euros each. They, too, are looking to start the process to demand bankruptcy.

Saab spokesman Eric Geers said: “We know the situation we are in. We are working very hard to resolve this and to get a more stable financing in place.”

Geers said Saab wanted an agreement with all suppliers to prevent more stoppages.

Swedish Automobile’s North American president said on Tuesday that the company was in talks with potential investors, but declined to name them. ($1 = 0.705 Euros) (Reporting by Mia Shanley; Editing by Will Waterman)

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