Saab denied bankruptcy protection

By the Associated Press | September 8, 2011 | 8:40 AM EDT

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish court on Thursday rejected Saab Automobile's application for creditor protection, paving the way for possible bankruptcy filings from labor unions.

The Vanersborg District Court said it is unclear how the cash-strapped company intends to secure further funding and continue its operations. The court noted that Saab is awaiting regualtory approval for cash injections from two Chinese companies.

"It appears unclear if — and if so when — the relevant Chinese authorities will approve the agreements," the court said.

The ruling opens up for potential bankruptcy filings from labor unions representing Saab's 3,700 employees, who weren't paid last month.

Saab applied for reconstruction on Wednesday, saying it needed breathing room to find short-term funding and restart production at its plant in Trollhattan, in southwestern Sweden.

The factory has been at a standstill for most of the year as the company has struggled to pay suppliers.

It wasn't immediately clear if Saab would appeal the ruling.