IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Antonov taking steps to become shareholder in Saab Automobile

Updated with Victor Muller's comments at of the entry.

Production stops, unpaid bills, payment systems that malfunction, lower sales than expected, management retirements, CFO that has a change of heart, questions of financial strength, etc etc. When will Saab ever get some peace and quiet to work on increasing sales, strengthen the sales organization, on improving their cars, on developing new cars?

Maybe now! The reason I say now is because Vladimir Antonov, which stepped down as owner in Spyker so that Victor Muller and Spyker could buy Saab from GM last year, has applied to the Swedish National Debt Office to be allowed to become part owner of Saab. Not only does he want to become part owner, he also wants to invest heavily in Saab. Investments that can give Saab the peace and quiet that they need.

I do not know how this process works, but my guess is that the National Debt Office has to conclude that they can still guarantee Saab's loans with the European Investment Bank if Antonov becomes shareholder. Then the European Investment Bank must conclude that they still can loan Saab money when the ownership structure has changed. Hopefully this process can be fast and Antonov can soon be welcomed into Saab as a real owner, and not just as a financier.

Here is what writes about Antonov's application to the National Debt Office:

Antonov applying to become owners
Vladimir Antonov has filed an application to become a shareholder in Saab.
This was confirmed by the National Debt Office and Antonov himself to TTELA.
Vladimir Antonov has filed a formal application to the Debt Office.
- We can confirm that we have received an application from Vladimir Antonov last night, but because of confidentiality, we can not comment on the content of the application, said Daniel Barr, project manager for Saab at the National Debt Office.
Even Vladimir Antonov confirms briefly that he have submitted an application. Previously, he has said that he wants to invest capital of between SEK 440 and 620 million, so that Saab and its parent company, Spyker Cars NV, can get a some buffer capital. Money to use in case of cash flow problems.
Furthermore, Antonov has indicated that he is willing to invest an amount of SEK 1.7 billion to finance the development of a small Saab, often referred to as 9-2. But all this requires that the National Debt Office and the European Investment Bank approves him as owner.

Update: Victor Muller has commented on the application to
- Well, you know I've been working on this for ten months. The application has been files. Now we wait for the final decision
 How much capital is he willing to invest?
- A lot. But I can not be more specific than that.
 What would an investment by Vladimir Antonov mean for the company's liquidity?
- It would improve. Right now, I can not be more specific. Now it is out of our hands.