Saab suppliers seek Antonov contact

Suppliers to cash-strapped Swedish car maker Saab have tired of the ongoing financing uncertainty and have sought direct contact with Russian financier and would-be Saab investor Vladimir Antonov.

Saab suppliers seek Antonov contact

The Saab suppliers are hopeful that Antonov will be cleared to become a formal shareholder in Saab.

“What is being done is not fair. Now is the time for those who say no to Antonov show their hand. Neither the government nor the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been able to say why they don’t approve him,” said Svenåke Berglie, chair of Fordonskompentgruppen (FKG), the trade association representing Scandinavian suppliers to the automotive industry, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

Anontov is scheduled to participate in FKG suppliers’ day in September, where he will be interviewed by TV 4 reporter Lennart Ekdahl.

Berglie is behind the initiative, saying that it is time for Saab to “bring in more heavyweight ownership”.

“This could be Antonov,” he said to DN.

EIB’s reluctance to approve Antonov may be related to his criticism of Lithuania’s central bank. The bank has previously claimed that the Antonov-owned Snoras bank has been casual in its lending policy.

Antonov has rejected the claims.

The Swedish government has said that it will take a positive decision on Antonov – provided he gets the green light from the EIB and the US car giant GM, which retains a stake in Saab.

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Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.