Russian investor drops out of Saab property sale
Russian investor Vladimir Antonov is no longer to take part in a sale and leaseback deal of Saab real estate, which had been aimed at raising funds for the carmaker, his spokesman said on Tuesday.
"The property sale is now being discussed with external investors," said Lars Carlstrom, Antonov's representative in Sweden.
Antonov was still interested in becoming a shareholder in Spyker Cars NV, the Dutch owner of Saab, Carlstrom added in an email.
In April, Antonov was given approval by former Saab owner General Motors Co. and the Swedish debt office, to pursue a stake in Saab. Antonov has applied to pay as much as 30 million euros ($44.4 million) for a stake in Saab of up to 29.9 percent, but Antonov's involvement still needs to be cleared by the European Investment Bank, before the deal can proceed.
Property, China deals
On Monday, Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri reported that Saab was in talks with Swedish property firm Hemfosa to sell and then lease back its real estate, in a deal that could be worth around 280 million crowns (31 million euros) in cash. The deal could move quickly, real estate journal Fastighetsvarlden quoted Hemfosa chief Jens Engwall as saying.
Saab said talks are ongoing and that Spyker expects to make an announcement about the sale of the Saab property shortly.
Spyker is again scrambling to raise funds for cash-strapped Saab, which halted production last week due to parts-supply problems.
On Monday, Spyker announced a deal involving Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. eventually taking a 29.9 percent stake in the Dutch company and Chinese car distributor Pang Da taking a further 24 percent stake for a combined 245 million euros ($352 million).
Spyker CEO Victor Muller said the deal would secure Saab's mid and long-term financing and told Swedish news agency TT approval should take two to three months.
Saab's suppliers are still concerned about the Swedish carmaker's future, even though Dutch owner Spyker has outlined a long-term financing deal with the two Chinese companies.
"What they have presented now is long-term financing, which is positive. But that does not solve today's situation, which is very serious," Svenake Berglie, chief executive of the FKG auto industry suppliers group, said on Tuesday.
He told Reuters his group estimated Saab's debts to suppliers at 300-500 million crowns.
While the firm had worked out payment plans with some suppliers, talks were still taking place, Berglie said.
Reuters contributed to this report
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