Another difficult week for Saab
The fate of Swedish car manufacturer Saab Automobile could be decided this week as Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov arrived in Stockholm Tuesday for a meeting with the head of the National Debt Office, Bo Lundgren.
After the meeting Lundgren said he had asked Antonov questions, and recieved some answers. He added the questions were about the background to the deal, and what Antonov's aims would be if he were to become an owner in Saab.
According to a statement from Saab's owner Spyker Cars Antonov will also meet with representatives from the European Investment Bank.
In the statement Spyker adds that they are looking for other possible ways to save the company including other partners than the controversial Russian businessman. Discussions have also been held with Chinese investors.
A deal where Antonov would buy Saab’s factory buildings in Trollhättan, north of Gothenburg, has been put forward as the best and fastest way to get Saab out of the immediate crisis. The factory has been at a complete standstill for almost three weeks since the company has been unable to pay suppliers.
But according to both Antonov and sources within Saab Automobile the European Investment Bank has made demands that are impossible for the company to comply with. Antonov’s spokesman Lars Karlström told Swedish Radio News that one requirement from EIB is that Saab pays back its loan of almost $330 million within 90 days.
“Under the current circumstances there is no possibility for Saab to pay back the loan,” he said.
EIB has declined to comment on the particulars of their decision, which was made on Thursday last week.
The deal has already been approved by the Swedish government.
Workers at the factories in Sweden, which have been at a standstill for several weeks because the company has been unable to pay suppliers, have been told to come to work on Wednesday.