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Saab secures new funding deal with US investor

Saab has secured a second round of funding in the form of £44.6 million from US private equity group North Street Capital to help the business continue as it restructures.

North Street Capital has paid £6.32m for 2.38 million shares in Saab’s parent company Swedish Automobile and the remaining £37.5m has been provided as a loan.

Saab has accepted the deal as it now doesn’t believe it will receive promised funds from Chinese investors Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile and Pang Da in time.

Saab said in a statement: "Saab has doubts that the bridge funding of Youngman and Pang Da, of which a partial payment has been received, shall be paid in full on October 22, 2011."

Saab signed an agreement with Youngman on September 12 to borrow £61.1m in exchange for non-exclusive rights to Saab’s Phoenix architecture technology. It’s unclear what will happen to this deal now Saab has secured a different deal with North Street Capital.

The Swedish brand won approval on September 22 to go into bankruptcy protection in order to restructure its business.

Saab GB has said it’s still “business as usual” in the UK. Dealers have access to new and used car stock and the business has launched marketing campaigns offering free servicing deals on both new and used cars to help boost confidence.

There’s still no estimated date for when production will restart, but Saab GB will continue to operate the business in the UK as normal and has sufficient funding in place to meet all creditor obligations and will continue to pay all employees, dealers and suppliers.

Saab is offering UK customers two years’ free servicing on all approved used Saabs to attract more business into showrooms.

Matthew Bateman, used car business development manager at Saab GB, said: "“The offer of two years’ free servicing on all approved used Saab vehicles comes with many benefits.

"Not only does the plan provide customers with worry-free maintenance over the two years; it also offers the advantage of a significant cost-saving.”

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