Saab auto said to be close to securing loan to avert bankruptcy

 
Bloomberg News
Updated 8/31/2011 7:40 AM
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  • The 2011 9-5 Saab Sport Sedansaabusa.com

    The 2011 9-5 Saab Sport Sedansaabusa.com

Saab Automobile, the cash-starved Swedish carmaker, is close to securing a loan of about $157 million to pay overdue salaries and avert a looming bankruptcy, three people familiar with the matter said.

The loan would be provided by one of the five biggest European banks, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The loan will likely be announced as early as tomorrow, the person said.

The automaker, which General Motors Co. sold last year, fist suspended production in late March amid a cash crunch, and the main factory in Trollhaettan, Sweden, has been shut down since early June. Saab delayed paying wages last week, the third consecutive postponement in as many months, prompting labor leaders to start a process that may lead them to seek a bankruptcy declaration against the carmaker if wages remain unpaid.

"We're working intensely to find financial solutions," Gunilla Gustavs, a Saab spokeswoman, said by phone today, declining to comment further.