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troubled car maker needs cash

EIB says "Yes... but..." to SAAB deal

Published söndag 24 april 2011 kl 10.58
Russian billionaire Vladimir Antonov

The European Investment Bank has approved the sale of Swedish-based car manufacturer SAAB Automobile's property company, but with some conditions, reports news agency TT.

The decision was taken last Thursday, but kept under wraps, as the bank has demanded secret conditions, which neither it nor SAAB Automobile itself are willing to reveal.

SAAB Automobile has had trouble finding the money to pay sub-contractors over the past month, and as a result the company's factories have stood still while waiting for parts.

The deal to free up capital for SAAB Automobile involves selling the property arm of the company, worth US$ 44 million, to Russian investor Vladimir Antonov. He would then lease the buildings back to SAAB Automobile.

A spokesman for Antonov says the demands set by the EIB are "unreasonable". He claims the conditions would mean SAAB would have to pay back its multi-million loan to the bank in a much shorter time frame, which would cause the carmaker to fold.

SAAB Automobile was sold by US car maker General Motors to luxury Dutch manufacturer Spyker last year.

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