European Investment Bank blocks Vladimir Antonov from investing in Saab

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 26, 2011

Saab’s troubles are far from over. A few days ago, Saab said that it doesn’t have the cash to pay some of its workers’ salaries and now, it was revealed that Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov didn’t get the approval of the European Investment Bank to rescue Saab. The bank has a veto over ownership issues because the bank has given a loan to Saab in the past.

So far, the bank hasn’t given a formal statement on Antonov's bid to be approved as a Saab shareholder. For several weeks now, Antonov has known that the EIB, the EU's long-term lending institution, won’t allow him to invest in the Swedish car firm.

This was confirmed by Antonov's spokesman Lars Carlstrom who talked to Reuters. Carlstrom said that the EIB got its cue from the Swedish government.

He explained that the Swedish government is apparently willing to risk 4,000 jobs since it has prevented Antonov from pouring in an investment of 100 million euros ($143.6 million) in Saab. But then, this development hasn’t discouraged Antonov.

Carlstrom said that Antonov is still seeking to be an owner in Saab and was trying to find a way to repay the 217 million euros that Saab borrowed from the EIB so that he could get a stake in Saab, which is presently owned by Swedish Automobile.

He added that within a few weeks, Antonov will present a deal. He has been working to become a shareholder ever since Swedish Automobile (known as Spyker back then) purchased Saab early in 2010.

He had owned almost 30% of Spyker but it had to sell so that the Saab deal would proceed. Antonov requires the approval of the Swedish government, the EIB and former Saab owner GM so that he could take a stake in Saab. It’s because the loan to Saab from the EIB was guaranteed by the Swedish government. In addition, GM continues to have preference shares in Saab.

Topics: saab

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