The Swedish government venture capital firm has cold feet investing in Saab


Thursday, 14 April 2011
The Swedish government’s venture capital firm Fouriertransform is ready to pump in close to Skr2 billion in the Swedish automotive market. But the ailing Saab automobile should not consider itself as one of those who can benefit from such government investment giant.

The situation is becoming increasingly acute for Saab, and production has been down all week in Trollh�ttan which has nit sent any attractive message to potential investors.

"If an owner indicated that they have financial problems so you have to be extra careful. We do not really know what is behind the curtains here, "said Fouriertransform  CEO Per Nordberg to Swedish Business daily, Dagens Industri (

"We work as any commercial company at any time. We do not go in with some subsidies simply because we are state owned, ” he continued.

Fouriertransform was formed during the financial crisis over two years ago, with the task to strengthen the Swedish automotive industry. So far the company has invested about Skr400 million, of the original start-up capital of Skr3 billion.

Lars Erik Fredriksson, managers in the financial department of state ownership and a member of Fouriertransform board, said the company now will increase its pace of investment significantly.

Before the end of 2012 Fourier transform plans to invest about Skr 1.7 billion in the Swedish automotive market. And then it will save about between Skr1 to Skr1.5 billion, as a buffer.
"Now it's full speed. Sure, you can wish we’d been faster, but to make responsible investment takes time. We have processed 250 applications since its inception, "said Lars Erik Fredriksson.

Despite this, Lars Erik can not see the possibility of Fouriertransform performing an emergency rescue for Saab.
"There have been discussions with Saab if there are some activities we could take over and finance on commercial terms. But what I know, we have no concrete investment in Saab right now, "he said.

Fouriertransform has a rule stating that the company may not invest more than five percent of the equity in a single project or ten percent of a group.
"That we would go into the entire Saab Automobile is rather unlikely, given the capital they seem to have, "said Lars Erik Fredriksson.

CEO Per Nordberg identifies several priority policy areas. The development of sustainable vehicles, to replace fuel engine’s negative impact for the benefit of electric power and battery technology, is one of them. Cross-interaction between the telecom and automotive industries is another.

"Here, Sweden, together with Japan becomes a world leader, "he said.
"The challenge for Sweden is that we have a very large European Depending. Europe's automotive industry has a huge excess capacity and is expected to lose approximately 300,000-400,000 jobs in 15 years. Here, we are aiming to do more towards emerging countries.
By Team

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