Vladimir Antonov shows optimism regarding Sweden’s help for Saab

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 15, 2011

Vladimir Antonov, a Russian financier, has showed optimism through a Twitter posting on Friday as Saab is close to entering an agreement with the Debt Office of Sweden that will help resolve the carmaker’s short-term financial problems.

A day before Antonov’s comment, the Debt Office stated that it could concur to release collateral for Spyker, Saab’s parent company, to gain the finances needed to resolve problems with unpaid bills to suppliers and to bring back production in the automakers’ plants.

"Ok now:)nearly done:)keep fingers cross!!!" were the words of Antonov in a Twitter post. The Russian businessman also hopes to eventually become a stakeholder in Saab again after he was forced to leave the original deal for Spyker to purchase Saab from General Motors.

The agreement with the Debt Office includes a sell-and-lease-back arrangement on Saab’s real estate, including the assembly plant that Antonov is expected to purchase, to further gain the cash that the automaker needs.

Earlier, Sweden has guaranteed loans of 400 million euros ($580 million) to Saab from the European Investment Bank, around 50 percent of which has already been paid out.

The Debt Office stated on Thursday that it could consider lowering the collateral for the loan guarantee, provided that Saab balances the amounts being guaranteed.

In 2010, Saab sold only 30,000 vehicles compared to around 95,000 in 2008. The automaker hopes that its new models as well as emerging markets will help boost sales and bring the company back to profitability next year.

Topics: sweden, saab

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