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Saab plans to replace EIB loan to ease Antonov takeover: report

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Saab plans to replace EIB loan to ease Antonov takeover: report
13:34 CEST+02:00
Saab Automobile has plans to replace a 2.2 billion kronor ($346.6 million) loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB), allowing Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov to step in as owner, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

"When the new loan is ready, Antonov is prepared to come in and take a owner's share of 29.5 percent," said Antonov's Swedish spokesperson Lars Carlström to DN.

EIB has put a halt on the Russian businessman's ambitions to own Saab, but by paying back their loan to the investment bank the firm will be freed of their restrictions.

Reports about Saab's plans are echoed by Svenåke Berglie, chairman of FKG, the trade association representing Scandinavian suppliers to the automotive industry.

"That is our impression. In the contract with EIB there are obstacles. Leaving EIB means that Antonov might be able to join without being approved," he said to DN.

According to Carlström, Saab's plan is to use their subsidiaries as collateral when securing a new loan.

"Saab's spare and accessories company alone, Saab Parts, is worth 3.5-4 billion kronor. There's a million Saab cars out on the roads that'll be needing spare parts within the next 20 years," said Carlström.

Eric Geers, Saab's information director, told DN that Saab would like to have a more flexible solution than the EIB's, but was otherwise unwilling to comment on reports that the company is planning to replace this loan with other financing.

Attempts made by The Local on Monday to contact Saab Automobile for confirmation of these reports were unsuccessful.

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