SWEDEN: Vladimir Antonov out of Saab picture says aide as Chinese look to buy
Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov, whose struggle to invest in Saab was met with hostility from the European Investment Bank (EIB) is out of any deal with the Swedish automaker following its proposed purchase by Youngman and Pang Da.
Antonov had offered to underwrite EUR30m in Saab that would have given him a 29.9% stake, but despite being cleared by the Swedish National Debt Office - with the body hiring private investigators and legal teams to reassure itself of the Russian's credentials - it appears he is now out of the picture.
"Right now with the letter of intent being signed, it means we are out," Antonov's holding company director Lars Carlstrom told just-auto. "It means the company will be 100% Chinese and we have no more influence in this deal at all.
"It is not the way we wanted it, but we have no choice. Not Antonov involved at all - he will not be part of the solution."
Earlier this year, the EIB confirmed to just-auto it: "had been the policy of the the EIB not to accept Mr Antonov taking part in the ownership structure of Saab," leading to Carlstrom saying: "We are so disappointed with both the Swedish government and the EIB."
However, Carlstrom confirmed Antonov would continue to play a part in the automotive industry through his business partnership with specialist group CPP that recently announced plans to consolidate its existing Coventry facilities in the UK on the single 23-acre Browns Lane site - once home to Jaguar - within five years.
Currently, the group delivers services including vehicle component manufacturing, body-in-white engineering, prototype vehicle production, and low-volume vehicle assembly, from five sites spread across the city.
"Our automotive intentions are now focused to Coventry and CPP," Carlstrom said.