Dagens Industri are reporting today their idea that Vladimir Antonov might want to call in his loans to Spyker.
The theory – and it is only theory as they don’t have anyone to confirm it – is that because Antonov might find it hard to gain access to invest in Saab under his own name, he might call in loans that were used to facilitate the purchase.
Vladimir Antonov volunteered to step aside as an official participant in the Saab deal because GM refused to play ball whilst he was involved. With Antonov on board as a source of finance only, and not an official party to the deal, GM were willing to sell Saab rather than close it.
Antonov stepped aside hoping to clear his name and then become part of the deal again. He’s commissioned an investigation into the dealings of his companies in the hope of clearing his name, however unnamed Swedish officials said to DI.se that the results of this investigation were unlikely to be relied upon (which is fair enough if you ask me – not because I don’t believe what might be in the report, but because you can’t rely on a report that isn’t independently compiled).
DI.se go on to say that either BAIC or Indian carmaker, Mahindra, might be interesting in providing the finance needed if Antonov does pull out.
I spoke with Vladimir Antonov myself in Trollhattan last month and I can tell you that he is very, very keen to be involved in the Saab business. I could also tell that GM excluding him hurt a lot, and his desire to clear his business name was very much a matter of honour for him.
The thought that he might pack up his bat and ball and go home in a huff doesn’t ring true when I think back to the man I had that brief conversation with.
Personally, I think this DI being DI.
Thanks to Jörgen, via comments.