Mystery Dutch billionaire behind Spyker bid: report

A Dutch billionaire is the main financier behind Spyker's latest bid for Swedish automaker Saab, reports Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, referring to several insider sources.

Neither of Spyker’s major owners – Convers Group from Russia and Mubadala, the United Arab Emirates national investment company – are involved in the new bid, according to SvD.

The Dutch luxury sportscar maker had originally given Saab owner General Motors (GM) until 11 pm on Monday to respond to its offer. But several hours before the the appointed hour, Spyker announced that its deadline had been extended indefinitely.

The company confirmed in a statement that it had been in contact with GM during the day on Monday and will continue to work on its offer for the purchase of Saab.

Swedish press reports have suggested that one of the main reasons GM agreed to resume the talks was that the Dutch group had addressed GM’s hesitations over Spyker’s Russian investors.

Svenska Dagbladet reported Monday that Spyker’s main investors with a 29.3 percent stake in the company, Vladimir and Alexander Antonov, were no longer behind the Dutch group’s bid for Saab.

And on Tuesday, the paper said Spyker’s second-biggest investor, Abu Dhabi state investment fund Mubadala Development, which owns 22.7 percent of Spyker, was not involved in the bid for Saab either.

The paper also said GM had also been concerned about letting technical know-how go to Russia.

“The risks involved with letting Saab’s technical know-how go to Russia also played a role,” it said.

GM has refused to comment on Spyker’s renewed bid.

Swedish media have previously reported that one of the main changes in Spyker’s renewed bid is that it has said it does not need a European Investment Bank loan before the end of the year in order to pursue its bid.

GM has said it wants to sell Saab before the end of the year.

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