Koenigsegg Group, the luxury Swedish carmaker, said Wednesday that it would sell a stake to the state-owned Beijing Automotive Industry Holding as part of the Swedish company’s purchase of General Motor’s Saab unit, in the latest push by a Chinese automaker expand outside its domestic base, The New York Times reported. The agreement came just hours after another Chinese carmaker, Geely Automotive, said its parent company planned to bid for Volvo Cars, the Swedish brand that is being sold by Ford Motor. Beijing Automotive Industry Holding, or BAIC, will take a minority stake in Koenigsegg. “This is an important step on the road toward a new Saab,” said the Koenigsegg chief executive, Christian von Koenigsegg. “We have a well-prepared business plan, an important partnership and we are ready to proceed without state financing.” Read more.
Daily Insolvency News Headlines
Thu., September 10, 2009
The number of German business insolvencies is rising sharply this year, underscoring government warnings that a wave of credit defaults could trigger a second credit crunch, The Wall Street Journal reported. The German Destatis statistics office said Wednesday that corporate insolvencies filed from January through June jumped 14.8% from the first half of 2008, a trend that economists warn will cut deeply into government tax revenue. Corporate insolvency filings alone in June were up 15.9% from the same month a year ago, compared with a 14.9% annual increase in May. The total volume of claims involved in insolvency cases, including individual persons, rose to €24.4 billion ($35.38 billion) in the first half, from €14.7 billion a year earlier. Insolvencies are traditionally a lagging indicator of economic activity, albeit a highly sensitive one because of the job losses that generally accompany them. The German economics ministry has warned of the possibility of a second credit crisis if a rise in corporate credit defaults moves banks to rein in lending any further. Read more. (Subscription required.)
Trident Resources Corp., a Canadian natural gas explorer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S., citing a drop in prices and fluctuations in the Canada-U.S. currency exchange rate, Bloomberg reported. The company listed as much as $10 million in assets and as much as $1 billion in liabilities in a filing yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Lower natural gas prices may decrease cash flow and force a delay in investments, it said in a separate motion to the court. Trident also sought relief from Canadian creditors, according to the motion. The Calgary, Alberta-based company drills for gas in Alberta, British Columbia and the Columbia River basin straddling Washington and Oregon and owned interests in 1045 economic producing wells as of the end of June, the motion said. Read more.
Dutch brokerage Van der Moolen Holding filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday in Amsterdam, ending the 117-year old firm's history after it decided it could no longer meet expenses, and failed to find a buyer, Reuters reported. The broker, once one of the prime market makers on Wall Street, said it could no longer pay ongoing expenses, including salaries, for September. "Furthermore, it became apparent during the last weeks that there are no possibilities to sell VDM or to continue as a smaller company," the company said in a statement issued late on Wednesday after it filed for bankruptcy in the Court of Amsterdam. In August, Van der Moolen sought and won creditor protection from a Dutch court saying it had a "very weak" liquidity position and was considering asset sales and significant writedowns. Even with a sale, or liquidation, receivers determined that shareholders in Van der Moolen could not be paid out. "The consequence of the bankruptcy will be that VDM will be liquidated," it said. Read more.
Talks on continuing to finance the factoring business of Quelle, a mail order retailer belonging to insolvent group Arcandor AG, are progressing in a "constructive" manner, a spokesman for the insolvency administrator said Wednesday. The current financing agreement expires at midnight Wednesday, the spokesman for insolvency administrator Klaus Hubert Goerg told Dow Jones Newswires. Factoring - a practice in which banks buy the outstanding accounts receivable to finance the retailer's ongoing operations - is Quelle's only source of financing. After Arcandor filed for insolvency in June, Quelle's financing collapsed and could only be revived with a €50 million loan from the German government. Read more. (Subscription required.)
General Motors Co. said Thursday it had made a decision on the future of German unit Adam Opel GmbH and its U.K. sister company Vauxhall, as people familiar with the matter told Dow Jones Newswires that GM's board had recommended a sale to a consortium led by Canadian car-parts maker Magna International Inc. GM will disclose its decision at 1400 GMT at a press conference in Berlin. A person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires that GM's board is recommending a sale to Magna, which is being backed by Russia's largest bank, OAO Sberbank and automaker OAZ Gaz. Another person familiar with the matter confirmed that the board of General Motors has opted for an investor solution for its Opel and Vauxhall operations. He declined to be more specific. The German government said it hadn't been told the decision, and a spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown declined to comment. GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson laid out four options to the board at a two-day meeting that concluded Wednesday: keeping Opel, filing for bankruptcy, or selling the unit to the Magna consortium or rival bidder Belgian investment firm RHJ International Inc. The board was to determine whether keeping Opel could be a better option than selling a majority stake in exchange for German loan guarantees.Read more.