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, April 6, 2011

Want some facts about Vladimir Antonov and his companies?

Ever since Spyker negotiated with General Motors to buy Saab a little over one year ago, Vladimir Antonov has been on everybody's lips. First as the man who was unwanted by GM in the Saab deal, and then as financier of Spyker Cars main owner Victor Muller. Since then Antonov has been welcommed back into Saab by GM. Now the only obstacles before Antonov can become part owner of Saab is approval by the Swedish Government, through the National Debt Office (NDO), and the European Investment Bank (EIB). All due to loans Saab has with EIB, loans guaranteed by the NDO.

But how much do we know about Antonov and his group of companies? I know that I don't know much, and therefore some facts from Reuters were very interesting. A short summary:

  • He was born in 1975 in Uzbekistan, where his father worked at a uranium enrichment plant. He graduated from the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics.
  • In an interview on his website,, he says he made his fortune while trading Russian debt at a bank called Lefco Bank during the 1998 crisis and then cheaply bought a Russian bank, Akademkhimbank, in 1999. He says he specialises in turning troubled companies around.
  • Antonov's key assets now include Lithuanian Snoras bank, which was the fifth-largest bank by assets totaling 7.7 billion litas ($3.2 billion) at the end of 2010. Conversbank acquired a majority stake at Snoras in 2003, and Antonov become direct holder of 68.1 percent in 2007. Antonov is chairman of the bank's supervisory board and his father is also on the board.

  For all the fact check out the article over at Reuters.