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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

National Debt Office will allow Antonov to become part owner of Saab

The Swedish National Debt Office had a press conference at 14:30 local time about the application from Saab Automobile AB to let Vladimor Antonov be shareholder of Spyker Cars NV and thereby part owner of Saab Automobile AB.

The National Debt Office can find no reason why Vladimir Antonov should not be allowed to become part owner of Saab. They have also sent their recommendation to the Swedish Government.

The National Debt Office has done a careful investigation of Vladimir Antonov and his companies using all available sources, including a three hour interview with Antonov himself. The National Debt Office believes that Antonov has a genuine interest in Saab and has serious business ambitions for Saab. The investment Antonov wants to make amounts to EUR 30 million and will give him 29.9 per cent of the voting rights in Spyker Cars and thus Saab. The National Debt Office has set as conditions that Antonov must be subject to the same regulations as all other shareholders in Spyker Cars and that Saab must be entitled to the whole investment.

This means that the approval of the Swedish Government, General Motors and the European Investment Bank (EIB) remains before he can become part owner.

According to Dagens Industri, the press secretary of the Minster of Enterpise says that the Swedish Government will make their decision as soon as possible, but first they have to await information from the EIB and GM. The secretary stressed that both GM and the EIB know that time is of essence.

Also according to Dagens Industri GM and Saab has reached a tentative agreement which would allow Antonov become part owner in Saab:

According to a statement from GM, the company is continuing active discussions with Saab and the European Investment Bank. The company has reached a tentative agreement with Saab, which would allow Antonov become part owner. But the agreement calls for "specific measures" from Saab's side which have not yet been implemented. In addition, some "formal approvals, consents and authorizations" that Saab has not yet received, according to a statement by information manager James Cain.

Spyker Cars NV has issued a press release about the National Debt Office approving Antonov. Here's what Victor Muller and Vladimir Antonov say:

Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker and Chairman of Saab Automobile said:

"This is a great day for our company and for me personally. We worked relentlessly for 11months to achieve the desired result: restore the reputation of Vladimir Antonov, who made so many valuable contributions to Spyker since 2007 as financier and shareholder. We are convinced he will be able to make such contributions again in the near future and look forward to the decisions of the Swedish Government, General Motors and the European Investment
Bank (EIB), following the recommendation of the NDO which was the result of intense scrutinising.”

Vladimir Antonov, Chairman of Conversgroup said:
“I am very happy finally getting the recommendation from the NDO to the involved parties, being a future investor in Spyker. The past months of speculations around me, as an individual investor and my businesses has been exhausting. Clearly this has been a disturbing factor for many of my businesses. Finally we have managed to obtain a clean bill of health and we need to move fast forward to secure the cash flow of Saab Automobile. I hope all involved parties now further take on their responsibility so we can close all processes fast to secure the future of Saab Automobile.”