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Antonov gets green light for Saab stake

TT/The Local/dl · 28 Apr 2011, 14:21

Published: 28 Apr 2011 14:21 GMT+02:00

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Sweden's National Debt Office (Riksgälden) has also announced that it has no objections to Antonov acquiring an ownership stake in Saab.

"We haven't found any reason to deny Antonov going in as a part owner in Spyker," said Debt Office head Bo Lundgren.

Part of the reason the Debt Office's review of Antonov took so long was the agency's desire to examine the many rumours about his background.

"There have been a lot of rumours floating around which have led us to do this type of investigation. But we haven't found anything to indicate that he's inappropriate as an owner," said Lundgren.

"When you talk to him, it's clear he has a genuine interest in Saab."

On March 29th, Saab and its current owner Spyker Cars asked the Debt Office for permission to allow Antonov to invest a maximum of €30 million ($45 million), equating to a maximum of 29.9 percent of the votes in Spyker.

The Debt Office has now handed the matter back to the Swedish government, which must now make its own decision in the matter.

While GM issued a statement on Thursday giving its preliminary approval to Antonov as a part-owner of Saab, the US automaker included a number of conditions Saab must fulfill.

According to GM, it remains in active discussions with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and has reached a preliminary agreement with Saab that would give Antonov a stake in the company.

But the agreement will require "certain specific measures" from Saab's side which have yet to be carried out.

Story continues below…

In addition, certain "formal approvals, acknowledgements, and permissions" which Saab has not yet received, GM spokesperson told the TT news agency in a statement.

GM's approval of Antonov is expected to pave the way for the EIB to allow Saab to sell its factories to the Russian mogul for 270 million kronor ($44.6 million) and then rent the facilities back to the auto company.

The Debt Office and the Swedish government have already approved the deal, which is expected to help Saab overcome lingering financial problems.

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

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Your comments about this article

15:18 April 28, 2011 by J Jack
I hope one of those conditions is don't change the name.
16:16 April 28, 2011 by millionmileman
I have been following this drama for the past 3 weeks and I think I can once again smile. This is so important for Swedish jobs and industry.

Also there will be more new Saab models released in the near future than ever before.
17:11 April 28, 2011 by Gletta
Don't get too excited - 270m SEK won't go far with Saab.
19:22 April 28, 2011 by tomas R

SAAB is good. But not all understand it. Sweden can proud of SAAB. I am proud of driving SAAB 9000'95. SAAB must be saved. It is one of the best car makers in the world. Of course it is my opinion.


Tomas (Lithuania)
04:40 April 29, 2011 by repat_xpat
Looks like the dead beat SAAB union workers sigh "GM = General Mobsters" has proven to be true. I eat my words.
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