Dutch billionaire could save Saab: report

Dutch billionaire could save Saab: report
Dutch billionaire businessman Marcel Boekhoorn has upped his investment in Saab suitor Spyker Cars of the Netherlands, trade union newspaper Dagens Arbete reports.

The 50-year-old investment mogul is reported to have replaced the Antonovs, a Russian father and son banking duo whose major stake in Spyker represented a stumbling block to the deal for Saab owner General Motors.

With an investment portfolio ranging from Dutch free-sheet De Pers and daily newspaper De Telegraaf, to a wastewater treatment plant in China and a zoo in the Netherlands, Boekhoorn is one of the wealthiest investors in his home country.

News of a deal for the sale of Saab Automobile to Spyker Cars could come any day now, according to the CEO of the Dutch luxury automaker.

“Word will probably come tomorrow (Monday),” Spyker CEO Victor Muller told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper on Sunday.

Negotiations between Spyker and Saab owner General Motors (GM) are now in their final stages, with the Dutch company having offered about $500 million for Saab, its third bid for the Swedish automaker.

According to several media reports, Spyker has brought in additional financial backing. Sveriges Television (SVT) reports that the new financier has been approved by GM.

Earlier reports indicated that GM wasn’t satisfied with Spyker’s previous financing for the deal.

The local newspaper TTELA in Saab’s home base of Trollhättan in western Sweden, recently reported that an American investor purchased 5.5 million kronor ($758,000) worth of Spyker shares.

However, the entrance of an entirely new financial backer is seen as being more important than the stock purchase.

The Swedish government’s point-person for the sale of Saab, enterprise ministry state secretary Jöran Hägglund, is in contact with both parties in the negotiation’s final stretch.

He has let GM know that it’s “reasonable to assume that there can be a state guarantee” for the critical €400 million loan which Saab has sought from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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