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Russian backer secures Saab property funds

TT/The Local/pvs · 18 Apr 2011, 15:35

Published: 18 Apr 2011 15:35 GMT+02:00

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Antonov's spokesperson Lars Carlström confirmed the deal to broadcaster TV4 Väst on Monday while declining to name the bank pending reaction from the Swedish National Debt Office.

The Debt Office and Saab have enter an agreement in principle to ensure that Saab receives reasonable compensation for the sale of its property, that an independent bank secures the payments and that there remains no doubt regarding the buyer.

All that remains for the agreement to be finalized are a number of details, the Debt Office confirmed on Monday.

They have however not processed Vladimir Antonov's ownership application.

"I have nothing about the ownership. It is ongoing," said Unni Jerndal at the Debt Office.

The Swedish government has demanded that Antonov undergo a form of character analysis in order to allow him to buy Saab. The process is not however unusual.

"I think it is more common than we imagine. That we do not hear about it so often is because it concerns deals that do not reach the general public," said Mikael Wickelgren, lecturer in business administration at the University of Skövde.

The government's review of the Russian financier is welcomed by Antonov himself, Lars Carlstrom said.

"He can withstand the scrutiny, everything is transparent from our side. We have been providing all the information that the National Debt Office has wanted," he said.

Story continues below…

According to Carlström, all the issues have now been investigated.

The Local reported at the time of Dutch Spyker's purchase of Saab from US firm GM in early 2010, that a Swedish government investigation into the dealings of the Russian Antonov family had caused the FBI to order GM to pull out of the deal in December.

Only after assurances that Antonov was not in fact underwriting the deal, was the purchase completed, while the doubts over financing have persisted in the interim period.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:01 April 18, 2011 by Grippen
This process is well known fro people from former eastern block. It is mockingly called "prichvatization" - a form of stealing, presented as privatization.

Essencially, russians will pretend to "invest", while really they only are interested in selling SAABs buildings and equipment as loans security. This way they expect to actually pay less for SAAB, just because they act as "investors".
21:18 April 18, 2011 by swedejane
Saab is deeply in debt. They apparently do not make a product people want. Personally, I'm surprised anyone wants to touch it but probably Grippen is correct in that they are going to dismantle the whole works and sell it off piece by piece. I guess the alternative is to have the swedish taxpayers put Saab on national welfare and subsidize infinite debt and cars that the market doesn't want.

The bigger question, between Volvo and now Saab, is why can't a swedish auto maker develop a product that people want? My take is swedish people buy Saabs and Volvos out of national pride; unfortunately, that's not going to sell very many cars year over year. Or, were these companies just so poorly mismanaged that no amount of car sales was going to save them?
21:29 April 18, 2011 by Zhorka
These news about Saab get a bit annoying. Give this failed company to Antonov, if he wants it that much, and say "thank you" to him.
22:37 April 18, 2011 by muscle
ok.. this guy's smiling picture, when SAAB is getting *ucked up... doesnt suit. TL please put some other picture of this guy
00:15 April 19, 2011 by millionmileman
@sweedjane and other doubters

Saab has just launched a new social media site headed by Steve Wade, who ran the successful Saabs United website (which is now run from Sweden).


Go to a dealer and explore the new 9-5. Soon the new 94-X will be on the market. There products are great which is why I am not really interested in other products.

Saab is a small company which has a really great future product line-up. The quality is now as good as it has ever been.
02:31 April 19, 2011 by repat_xpat
As all of SAAB's current products are GM products, I thank you for the compliment millionmileman. We do build the Worlds Best Vehicles. Wouldn't SAAB be sweet with their own version of a Chevy Volt?
06:45 April 19, 2011 by KingArthur
wat is a backer, it think Banker is the right word :)
07:33 April 19, 2011 by Arcticeric
oh my, and now, the new Volvo models are released ... possibly another nail in the Saab coffin. As a Saab owner (4 of 'um) I must admit the new Volvo might just be "the way to go" ... or?
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