When Koenigsegg dropped out of the running to purchase Saab from General Motors, there apparently weren't many automakers interested in rescuing the Swedish brand from the abyss. The only company with any serious interest, Spyker, seemed to be a long-shot to bring the brand into its portfolio. Of course, we now know that other investment groups were in the running, but Spyker came out on top to purchase Saab for $75 million and a closet full of clogs. But just like the winding road that led to the sale, the story doesn't simply end there. According to several reports, the deal could have been done a month sooner were it not for the involvement of the Russia's Antonov group.
SR International is among several international news agencies to report that the Swedish government was under the strong suspicion that the Antonov group has strong ties to the Russian mafia. The Antonov family is allegedly tied to organized crime and money laundering, and the English government has blocked the family from investing in the UK because of similar suspicions. The Swedish government then reportedly informed America's FBI of their findings, a move that lead to the U.S. government telling the GM board to stop the sale of Saab to Spyker on December 18. Hans Lindblad, state secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Finance, has reportedly confirmed the situation, adding that the discovery gave the Swedish government more time to help broker a deal.
In the end, Spyker was able to purchase Saab from GM only after the Antonov group was bought out of its interest in Dutch specialty automaker. And we thought the Saab tale couldn't get any weirder... or convoluted.
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[Sources: SR International, The Local]