Report: Saab cash deal needs GM approval


*Update: General Motors Co. said today it has given its tentative approval for Russian financier Vladimir Antonov to become a major shareholder in Spyker Cars’ struggling Saab unit.

We reported last week that Saab production at Saab had been halted for almost a month due to the the company’s failure to pay suppliers’ bills. That situation seems to be worked out, at least in theory, as Saab has secured a deal that would with the European Investment Bank, that would alleviate its immediate cash crunch issues.

There is one caveat however; EIB Vice Chairman Eva Srejber says that GM, the Swedish auto-makers former owner, must sign-off and approve a sale and lease-back plan in order for the cash to be raised. As part of the sale agreement to Spyker Automotive, GM retains redeemable preference shares in Saab.

The deal that Saab has in place is with Russian financier Vladimir Antonov, who is seeking to buy from the company, a bundle of real-estate, included in which is the company’s main production plant, and lease it back, providing Saab with much needed cash to pay bills.

Antonov has traveled to Sweden to meet with the country’s Debt Office, where he told the media he is not giving up, though the situation is by and large beyond his influence at this point.

“It is not yet certain whether the above parties will be able to fulfill all of the conditions of the EIB and finalize the sale of Saab Property within a short time frame,” Spyker said.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News