Vladimir Antonov will soon give up the position of chairman at Spyker because he stood between the Dutch company and its successful acquisition of Saab. Recent reports indicate that a Swedish government investigation tied Antonov and his family to the Russian mafia and money laundering. Those findings helped kill the initial deal between Spyker and General Motors and led to Antonov's subsequent departure.
2010 Saab 9-3X - Click above for high-res image gallery
The long saga of Saab has generated a lot of headlines for us in the past few months. The latest was word that the deal between General Motors and Spyker was initially rejected because of the fact that one of Spyker's investors was tied to the Russian mafia. It wasn't until the Antonov Group was bought out, allegedly, that the deal proceeded.
Could the Saab endgame – no, the real endgame this time – finally be under way? Bloomberg is reporting that financial terms have been agreed to, in principle, between General Motors and Spyker, and that what remains between the two are sorting out production issues. Beyond that, there are still a couple of catches: Vladimir Antonov, Spyker's Russian backer and company chairman, will reportedly have to leave the company and the Swedish government must agree to guarantee the €400
Saab loyalists can keep their candles burning a wee bit longer as supercar manufacturer Spyker has extended the deadline of its final-final offer for the Swedish brand "until further notice."
Here's the skinny: Saab isn't totally dead yet. As the weekend showed, there's (a little) hope for both Saab and its Dutch suitor, Spyker. As our man Ramsey laid out yesterday, Spyker submitted a renewed eleven-point plan to General Motors that they (Spyker) hopes will allow them to take ownership of the deeply troubled brand. And yes, being pronounced dead four days ago counts as "deeply troubled." As Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt pointed out, all this dead/not dead uncertainty has b
Spyker's motto, written on all of its cars in Latin, is "Nulla tenaci invia est via." Translation: "For the tenacious, no road is impassable." And so here the Dutch company is, tenaciously chasing Saab, announcing in a press release that they have submitted a renewed offer to General Motors that addresses what are said to be eleven sticking points that scuttled an earlier agreement.