Saab To Get Bankruptcy Protection

Appeals court approved cash-strapped Saab's application for bankruptcy protection, buying more time for Saab to receive desperately needed funding.

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- A Swedish appeals court on Wednesday approved cash-strapped car maker Saab's application for bankruptcy protection, buying the brand more time to receive desperately needed funding from Chinese investors.

The Court of Appeal for Western Sweden overturned a previous decision by a lower court, saying "a more thorough investigation can show that the prerequisites for a successful reconstruction exists."

The Vanersborg District Court had rejected Saab's application two weeks ago, citing uncertainties regarding Saab's opportunities to raise funds.

Saab has struggled financially since General Motors Co. sold it in 2010 to the Netherlands-based company that is now called Swedish Automobile. Production at Saab's manufacturing plant has been suspended for most of the year while the company has struggled to pay suppliers and staff.

But Chief Executive Victor Muller insists he can turn the company around as soon as it receives cash injections from Chinese investors Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. and Pang Da Automobile Trade Co.

Chinese authorities have not yet approved those deals.

The ruling Wednesday allows Trollhattan-based Saab to reconstruct its operations while being protected from creditors, some of whom already have filed bankruptcy petitions against the automaker. During the reconstruction process, which lasts three months but can be extended, the Swedish government will pay Saab workers salaries.

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