Friday, April 29, 2011

Swedish Office and GM Allow Antonov to Invest in Saab

It appears that Saab's hopes of survival continue to depend after all that happened on Vladimir Antonov, the Russian banker who was forced by GM to sell his initial shares in Spyker for the Saab sale to occur. Spyker today confirmed that the Swedish National Debt Office (NDO) allowed Antonov to become a major shareholder in Spyker Cars, Saab's parent company.
"This is a great day for our company and for me personally. We worked relentlessly for 11 months to achieve the desired result: restore the reputation of Vladimir Antonov, who made so many valuable contributions to Spyker since 2007 as financier and shareholder,” said Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker and chairman of Saab Automobile.
“We are convinced he will be able to make such contributions again in the near future and look forward to the decisions of the Swedish Government, General Motors and the European Investment Bank (EIB), following the recommendation of the NDO which was the result of intense scrutinising,” Muller added.
General Motors, which has redeemable preference shares in Saab, also gave the green light to Antonov.

“GM continues to be in active discussions with both Saab and the European Investment Bank and has reached a tentative agreement with Saab on a construct which could allow for Vladimir Antonov's acquisition of a shareholder interest in Saab,” the Detroit automaker said in a press statement.
The American company stressed, however, that the agreement requires “certain specific actions to be taken by Saab which have not yet been completed, as well as certain formal consents, approvals and waivers which Saab has not yet obtained.”
Antonov still needs the green light from the Swedish government and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to return as a Spyker shareholder. Saab halted production three weeks ago because it had no money to pay suppliers and announced it will sell production facilities to Antonov and lease them back in order to get cash to restart production.
However, the deal must receive the approval of the EIB, to which Saab owes €400 million.
“Spyker and Saab Automobile are negotiating equity and debt financing and/or technology licensing with various strategic partners, including various Chinese car manufacturers. No commitments have been received to date,” Saab said in a statement.


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