Saab Parent Company Shares Halted After Plunge

Mon, 12/12/2011 - 8:35am

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch financial market regulator Monday halted trading in shares of Swedish carmaker Saab's parent company Monday until further notice.

The Netherlands' Financial Market Authority did not specify a reason for halting trade in the stock of Swedish Automobile N.V., though shares in the company had fallen more than 19 percent before trading was halted at euro0.21 ($0.28). Prominent Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri reported earlier in the day without naming any sources that the company's chief executive Victor Muller was preparing to file for liquidation.

Saab could not be reached for comment. The company's most recent public statement is that it is continuing to seek new financing.

Saab entered Swedish bankruptcy protection in September, and last week court-appointed administrator Guy Lofalk asked the Vanersborg District Court to declare the company bankrupt. The court is to deliver a verdict on Dec. 16.

The company has been in takeover talks with several Chinese companies including Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co., but deals proposed so far have been blocked by Saab's previous owner, General Motors. GM sold Saab in 2010 to a tiny Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker — now renamed Swedish Automobile — but GM remains a major stakeholder and is concerned about use of its technology licenses.

Production has been suspended at Saab's main plant in Trollhattan, Sweden, since April as the company struggled to pay suppliers. It hasn't paid its 3,700 employees since last month.



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