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Saab: GM decides Vladimir Antonov is a good guy after all

Wed, 19 Jan 2011

Vladimir Antonov - Not a 'Red under the Bed' after all.

Some detected the odour of McCarthyism when GM told Spyker there could be no deal on Saab unless it showed major backer Vladimir Antonov the door. Which seemed a bit harsh; after all, there seemed no evidence to support accusations of links to organised crime by Vladimir or Convers Bank. It seemed to the casual observer that GM had developed a terminal case of Reds under the Bed.

But it now seems that GM has had a change of heart. It now appears ready to accept Vladimir/Convers as investor/shareholder/piggybank for Spyker/Saab (delete as required). Which could have much to do with an investigation commissioned by Vladimir which disproved all allegations of connections between Vladimir/Convers and the less salubrious sides of business life.

Or it could be that GM would quite like to offload the shareholding it still has in Saab (US$326 million of redeemable preference shares on the basis of the valuation when Saab finally got sold to Spyker this time last year). And Vladimir/Convers are probably the best bet for a decent price. Not that we’re cynics. Heaven forfend.

Whatever the GM logic it’s good news for Saab and Spyker. Vladimir is a big Spyker fan, has worked well with Victor Muller and was also keen on the Saab deal. His input – not just financial – should help Saab and Spyker along the bumpy road to success.

And – as it’s a love of Vladimir’s – we might finally get to see the Spyker D8 hit showrooms.

Source: Reuters

By Cars UK