Antonov to Sweden for Saab crisis talks

Antonov to Sweden for Saab crisis talks
Russian financier Vladimir Antonov is to arrive in Sweden on Tuesday to meet state representatives to discuss the future of crisis-hit Swedish carmaker Saab.

Antonov, who backed the purchase some of Saab Automobile by Dutch Spyker from US GM, will meet with Bo Lundgren, the head of the National Debt Office (Riksgälden).

Riksgälden is guarantor of the European Investment Bank (EIB) loan that facilitated the deal and has given its clearance for the purchase of Saab’s properties in a deal arranged by Antonov.

But the situation remains precarious for the embattled carmaker as Trollhättan production lines remained at a standstill as the EIB seeks further assurances over the property deal and securities for its loans.

“The situation is extremely serious,” said Antonov’s spokesperson in Sweden, Lars Carlström to the Göteborgs-Posten daily.

The newspaper has reported that Saab had sought a crisis meeting wit the Swedish government over the Easter weekend, but the government it is claimed rejected the request.

According to media reports the demands placed by EIB to release further capital under the terms of its loans are so stringent that the the firm is unable to meet them.

It is unclear as to the specific subject matter to be discussed between Bo Lundgren and Antonov on Tuesday.

In an email to the Dagens Nyheter daily, Vladimir Antonov stated that he had not given up hope of saving the firm and that he is set to continue the fight.

“I am a fighter and never give up, a challenge such as this must be won at any cost,” he said.

Saab Autmobile confirmed on Tuesday that talks are scheduled for the day between the firms and the EIB.

“It is going to be a hectic day,” Gunilla Gustavs at Saab told the TT news agency.

Saab’s owner Spyker Cars has previously confirmed in a statement that discussions will be conducted with the EIB in a bid to find a solution to the conditions imposed by the EIB.

Spyker reported that firm continues to search for further finance to solve the cashflow problems which have led to a production standstill for several weeks.

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