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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vladimir Antonov: "We will make it"

8:31 updated with Antonov's statements to Dagens Nyheter and the EIB's continued reluctancy.

Today Vladimir Antonov will meet the National Debt Office to discuss his request to be approved as part owner of Saab. Here is what he says to the newspaper Expressen:
"We will make it" 
Today Vladimir Antonov - the main character in the Saab saga, is meeting Bo Lundgrenfrom the National Debt Office (NDO) . Antonov tells Expressen what he will say to people at the NDO.
- I have been looking forward to this day for a long time.
Vladimir Antonov wants to solve Saab's cash crisis - and become a part owner. Today he is coming to Stockholm to meet Bo Lundgren, head of the National Debt Office, which makes an ownership inquiry after Saab requested that Antonov should be approved as owner.
What will you say to Bo Lundgren when you meet at the National Debt Office?
- I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. Now we finally meet. The pleasure is on my side! Vladimir Antonov says to Expressen.
Requires approval by GM
At the same time Antonov is requesting approval from the European Investment Bank, EIB. Saab wants to sell its properties to Antonov to release SEK 270 million. But the fact that it is he who wants to buy the properties, makes the bank reluctant.
The agreement between Spyker and GM says that he should have no influential in Saab and the EIB requires a formal approval from GM.
The Bank also sets up strict requirements for the purchase to go through: Saab must repay its loan of SEK 3.6 billion within 90 days.
"Straight ahead for Saab"
Can you meet EIB's deadline?
- The situation with the EIB is very complex. The text sent from them to us is very difficult to understand even for a skilled lawyer, so we'll see how their final proposal will look like, says Antonov.
About Saab's financial problems, he says:
- I am sure we will find a way out of it. It is straight ahead for Saab. If I am accepted as a part owner, we will be able to arrange a safe and healthy future for Saab through our broad network. We see no future problems for the company.

To Dagens Nyheter Vladimir Antonov writes the following in an email:

- I am a fighter and I never give up. A challenge like this must at all costs to be overcome.
What about Saab entices you to continue?
- The values that we have identified in Saab is to me simple math. We have one of the automotive world's strongest brands with a product range that is unprecedented, the plans we have for Saab is challenging but the result could be revolutionary, writes Vladimir Antonov.

At the same time the European Investment Bank is still being the difficult part and still claims that GM must approve the deal and it must be a formal approval:

EIB Vice President, Eva Srejber, maintains that GM must approve the deal. To the news agency TT, she says that the bank can not comment on the statments from Antonov Swedish spokesperson.
In an email from GM's top management dated Good Friday April 22 which DN Business has been made aware of, however, GM says that they have no objections to the deal. In the e-mail GM also offers to join the EIB, Saab and the Natiotnal Debt Office in conference call to clarify any question that remain.
GM's proposal for the conference call was yesterday, Monday, but the conference fell through when the EIB according to DN's sources did not respond to the offer.