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, July 28, 2011

Antonov rejected by EIB, working on new plan

According to it has now been confirmed even by the European Investment Bank (EIB) that the Russian banker Vladimir Antonov will never be given the approval to become part owner of Saab as long as the EIB provides loans to Saab. This was communicated to Sweden's Government already back in 2009.

"The European Investment Bank confirms that the loan to Saab's research and development program requires that Vladimir Antonov is not given the opportunity to take ownership of Saab," says Pär Isaksson, spokesman for the EIB, to TT. He continued saying: "This was made clear by ​​the EIB to the Swedish authorities at the beginning of the project evaluation in 2009." 

But despite this, Sweden's Government has time after time said that they will wait for the decision of the EIB. And all the time they knew that the decision was taken in 2009.
Saab has according to DI been hoping that the EIB would change it's mind. To make matters worse, the EIB refuses to tell both Saab and Vladimir Antonov himself why he can not become part owner.

"We can not understand why he can't come in [as part owner].  If they could tell us or him then it would be very helpful," Eric Geers, Saab's Executive Director of Communication, told DI.

Now Vladimir Antonov is working on a plan to pay back the EIB loans and instead take loans from commercial banks.

"We are working on a way to be rid of the EIB loan," Lars Carlstrom told Reuters. "We hope to present a solution in the near future."

At the same time the Chinese companies Youngman and Pang Da are getting close to submit their case to save and turn Saab around to China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). According to China Car Times, the submission is expected within the next 30 days. It is of course very important to convince the NDRC that their investments in Saab will be profitable and beneficial for China in the long run.

But first the most important task is of course to save Saab in the short run. Without cash to pay it's employees, Saab can be bankrupt within weeks.