General Motors has given initial tentative approval for Russian investor Vladimir Antonov to become a shareholder in Saab, a move which has also been mirrored by approval from the Swedish debt office. According to reports, Saab can expect up to €30 million in financing from Antonov, who is looking like the one option at this stage to save the autocar maker.
GM still has some interest in Saab with redeemable preference shares, and is quoted as saying that the agreement: “requires certain specific actions to be taken by Saab which have not yet been completed, as well as certain formal consents, approvals and waivers which Saab has not yet obtained.”
The process could prove a long one, with agreements still requiring approval from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which leant huge amounts of money to Saab, secured by the Swedish government, not to mention past accusations of Antonov’s involvement in organised crime and money laundering, for which he had to withdraw as a Spyker investor in the past.
Antonov says: “Finally we have managed to obtain a clean bill of health and we need to move fast forward to secure the cash flow of Saab Automobile. I hope all involved parties now further take on their responsibility so we can close all processes fast to secure the future of Saab.”
And so the cavalry has arrived? Saab will be desperate for the cash and so will the Swedish government, most likely. It seems that our news yesterday of Saab in talks with Chinese companies has been confirmed, although those companies are still unnamed. It would be a way for Saab to raise money without requiring EIB approval. Saab spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs says: “In parallel, we are working on the longer term financing solution, including talking with some Chinese companies.”
Source | Automotive News