Vladimir Antonov lined up an independent European bank for Saab deal

Article by Christian A., on April 18, 2011

Vladimir Antonov, a Russian businessman, has arranged an independent European bank to handle the payment transactions in a planned agreement to purchase property owned by Saab, which needs the funds to bring back its operations.

Representing for Antonov in Sweden, Lars Carlstrom said that the identity of the financial institution will only be disclosed once the national debt office of Sweden gives its approval for the agreement to proceed.

Last week, Sweden has given its conditional support for the deal, but demanded that any payments should take place through a European bank, which is not connected with Antonov.

Carlstrom said that the issue has already been resolved. The agreement is set up with a goal to rescue Saab from a cash-crunch this year. Its financial troubles have led to unpaid bills to suppliers and halted production at its facilities in Trollhattan, Sweden, for the last two weeks.

The government of Sweden has agreed to a buy-and-lease-back proposal of the debt office wherein Saab will sell its real estate, including the plant, to Antonov.

The automaker will then lease the property back. This setup could bring an initial 30 million euros ($43 million) to Saab.

The government has yet to determine its action with regards to putting Antonov back as a Saab shareholder. Because of the opposition from Saab’s former owner General Mortos Co., Antonov had been excluded from the original deal when Spyker bought Saab last year.

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