‘Saab purchase delayed’: Spyker CEO

'Saab purchase delayed': Spyker CEO
The purchase of Swedish car maker Saab by Spyker, scheduled to be completed on Tuesday, could be delayed by another day, the Dutch firm's CEO Victor Muller said on Tuesday.

“There are a lot of pieces that have to fall into place at the same time,” Muller told news agency TT.

“Everything is moving forward and hopefully we will be finished today, but it could also carry over until tomorrow,” the Spyker chief said.

Tuesday signals exactly a month since Spyker announced that it had reached an agreement with US General Motors to buy Saab. Since then the final purchase agreement has been drafted, with the European Investment Bank (EIB) loan and Swedish state guarantees being decisive for the deal’s completion.

Since the approval of the loan came through on February 12th, Spyker and GM have been working on the details of the transfer.

Saab has been brought out of administration and existing agreements with retailers and suppliers have been dusted off and moved to the new firm. The firms also had to agree on future arrangements with regard to cooperation in areas such as engine development.

Victor Muller has been in Stockholm since last Thursday. Scott Mackie and Enrico Digirolamo are representing GM in the negotiations which are taking place at the Hammarskiöld & Co. law firm.

“We’re now down to lots of technical details, very boring,” Victor Muller confirmed.

Over the past week focus has largely been brought to bear on Spyker’s financing alternatives. $50 million of the $74 million purchase price is reported to have been secured by loans taken on by Spyker.

The Russian banker Vladimir Antonov, who was forced out as a majority shareholder of Spyker as a condition of the deal, claims that half has come from his banks. He has also claimed that he is prepared to stump up $100 million to ensure completion of the deal.

Credit assessment firm Dun & Bradstreet has stated, according to reports in Dagens Industri on Tuesday, that Spyker has a poor record of paying its creditors, with only 15 percent of its bills paid by due date. Furthermore Spyker has three payment defaults registered with a collection agency.

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