Since early 2010, the EIB has part-financed the research and development (R&D) programme at Saab. We are not a liquidity provider. Liquidity financing must come from the company’s cash flow, commercial banks or other sources. The reason for the EIB’s financing of the R&D programme is our concern for the thousands of jobs that Saab provides in Sweden. Indeed, Saab’s R&D programme also contributes to the future competitiveness of the company.
This is why, when Saab has presented its different packages of liquidity measures, in order to solve the liquidity squeeze due to low sales of cars, the EIB actively engaged with the other three parties involved (Saab, the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) and General Motors) to try to resolve the situation. We have invested more effort in Saab than we normally do regarding monitoring of R&D projects of this kind. As Saab’s short and medium term financing package is evolving, there has been a high number of changes proposed by Saab, which require concerted evaluation by the EIB and the other parties involved.
The EIB is ready to do its part to facilitate a solution regarding the financing of Saab in line with its role as provider of financing of the R&D programme, while adhering to its established banking principles. It is not uncommon that changes in ownership occur in projects that we finance as the EIB provides long-term loans for investments in long-term projects. We have procedures in place for evaluating such changes in ownership. These procedures include an evaluation of prospective new owners and of how changes in ownership may affect the borrower’s business plan, economic plan, financial plan and the project which we are financing.