Government probe halted Saab-Spyker deal
TT/Christine Demsteader · 1 Feb 2010, 11:33
Published: 30 Jan 2010 09:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Feb 2010 11:33 GMT+01:00
A source close to the government told business daily Dagens Industri (DI) that Swedish security services (Säpo) were given the task of tracking the business interests of the Antonov family who were major investors in Spyker at the time.
The assignment was initiated by the Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden) which brought in private investigators to aid the mission.
Säpo is reported to have found connections between the Antonovs and organised crime as well as involvement in money laundering.
To prevent the Russians gaining any possible control over a new Saab-Spyker venture the government handed their findings over to the FBI.
The US government reacted quickly to the report and gave the board of General Motors a direct order to stop the deal, which happened on December 18th.
Hans Lindblad, state secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Finance, has confirmed the course of events to DI, stating that by bringing such information to light, the government were able to argue for a prolonged bidding process in December last year.
Lindblad told DI there is no longer a Russian connection. "The Antonov family is gone now and have no power position whatsoever in Saab Spyker," he said.