DI.se – GM clear way for Antonov to be part of Saab deal

According to Dagens Industri online today, GM have cleared the way for Vladimir Antonov to become part of the ownership structure for Saab Automobile.

The Spyker purchase nearly fell over last year when GM acted on (unproven) suspicions and barred Antonov from being part of the deal. Antonov stepped aside, acting as a financier only (and even that was in the background) in order for the deal to go through.

Subsequent investigations have cleared Antonov from any wrongdoing and according to DI.se, he has now been given the formal green light to become part of Saab’s ownership structure.

Antonov has said that he will update people after January 26, which will be the first anniversary of Spyker signing the agreement to purchase Saab from GM.


It’ll be interesting to see what changes, if any, this might bring to Saab.

Having a banker on the board could lead to easier access to finance for Saab. Not assured, but *could*. I’d imagine they might be subject to rather high interest rates if they want to access external finance at the moment.

Antonov has also spoken previously about taking old Saab tooling and building cars in Russia with it (see here for a more recent report, too).

Whatever happens, it’s definitely going to be interesting 🙂

Thanks to Carl-Henrik for the tip!

36 thoughts on “DI.se – GM clear way for Antonov to be part of Saab deal”

  1. I read this article a while ago and I am still waiting for some kind of official statement from GM. They really should add an apollogy in there to. …. Like thats going to happen…

  2. Would be great to have an an additional and long-term shareholder who brings in a broader equity base. Maybe could free up some additional resources
    – for product development, not into new projects, but to complete and refine the existing or planned model line-up. (Diesels for 9-5 and 9-4x, lower fuel consumption across the board,)
    – dealer network, country organisations
    – marketing efforts

  3. Phew. I really like Vladimir’s entrepreneurial spirit and his passion for motorsports. Hope he’s as interested in the long term success of Saab as the rest of the management is. I wonder how his involvement with Spyker has been going in the meantime, if he was ever really out of the picture, or if he just kept a low profile? Glad his name is cleared.

  4. I have no idea what kind of financial resources VA could bring to the table, but I would hope it meant that SAAB would be given the chance to keep on re-building the company. Turning a company around is something that takes time and money. Any long term plan that aims at transforming a company is bound to see a lot of short term fluctuations. The trick is to navigate through those fluctuations and to convince external financiers of the merits of the long term trend embedded in the long term plan…. I am involved in a similar situation at another company, so I fully sympathize with the people at SAAB. It is hard work.

  5. What pulls GM’s heads out of their rears is probably the fact that the VA->VM loan is maturing and the fact that there is no other plausible refinance solution, from VM/VA’s perspective. Supported by the reports underlining that it cannot be proven that VA is a bad guy. I bet VA/VM, right from the beginning, saw this coming as the most probable outcome.

  6. This can only be good news I assume. If I were Antonov I would be much more interested to invest money against a share of the company than just being a banker lending out money. Now he can get a chair in the boardroom and actually be a real decisonmaker instead of just being outside and see how “his” money is spent.

  7. Somehow it looks like GM took Antonov as an excuse to let the Spyker deal fail back then and continue with their original plan to wind down Saab.

    Now that Spyker bought Saab, a year has gone and investigations cleared Antonov they can let him on board without loosing their face.

    Given that Antonov has a long time interest in Saab it will be good to have a banker on board. Besides his own money he will bring along lots of expertise in negotiating with banks. And some contacts, too I believe.

  8. Whenever I read Antonov’s name mentioned in this manner I always get excited. This is a man who loves cars and wants to make a lot of money building them and selling them. If Antonov can get on board this year then I’m sure we will have that dream 92 in 2013.

  9. HURRAY!!!

    Welcome aboard Mr Antonov!

    And for those that has not shook hands with Vladimir, I can say that he has a good firm grip. A nice guy 🙂


  10. Old Saab tooling might not be the best in making a realy ultra Safe car… But it could lead to a better alternative than Lada or a couple of Chinese brands that has not made it through Euro NCAP.
    If the Södertälje engines could be used it could also lead to better spareparts prices. The NG900/OG-9-3 is a good basis. It´s relatively safe even with todays standards (3 stars NCAP maybe?) Just use the fundamentals in equipment, build it in Kaliningrad, call the car something other than Saab, only build the 5 door hatch, put a roof on the convertible to make it a 2 door sedan coupé :-).

    But I do not know who has the rights to that particular model..

    The 9000 is to old and expensive to build… So that is probably out of the question…

    What other car could it be? Jörgen Trued building 10.000 Saab 99 Rally replicas/year? 😀 That would be Fun!


      • Nah, with a limited series of such a car it would make more sense to produce it Spyker. No handstitching or handmade aluminium parts, but high quality materials. Price of 80.000 Euros…?

        The Kaliningrad plant is supposed to pump out 10.000 vehicles/year….

        But I doo agree.. A Halo car would be soo nice.


  11. Very nice. Hope they now can upgrade their development programme for a V6 diesel, a 9-5 hatchback and the promised iceblock dashboard

  12. Welcome, Vladimir Antonov. I’m sure Victor Muller won’t
    mind sharing his “Entrepreneur of the Year” award with
    you now that you can be a public part of the company;
    not behind a thick layer of trust agreements.

    Rallying has always been a part of Russian motoring.

    F1 has become a Russian reality through Renault and the
    Russians will have their own track & race soon at Sochi,
    home of the upcoming Olympics.

  13. Vladimir poured heart and soul (and a lot of money) into Spyker. It was just plain outrageous that he was forced out without any evidence of wrongdoing. Welcome back to another great investor!

  14. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if a. the GM pref holdings get reduced to nigh zero quite soon and b. the Spyker holding is going to welcome a new majority shareholder equally soon. I have always thought that VM wanted to head a car manufacturer but not necessarily own one and that VA wanted exactly the opposite. Either way, the two V’s are imho a pretty unbeatable duo.


    • GM’s preference shares cannot be redeemed as long as the EIB loan isn’t fully repaid. Redemption date for the pref. shares is December 31, 2016 and I don’t know if Spyker owns the right to repay any earlier if they want to but GM doesn’t. If I was GM I wouldn’t want to lose those shares. But I guess that GM wants out and would welcome early payment.

  15. I told you than we have to be patient. Mr Anrtonov is our “Joker”. I like cardgames and GM pass the itself because our double “V” won.:)

    Welcome on board Mr Antonov.

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