Loss making Dutch sportscar maker Spyker, which acquired Saab last year, is planning to sell its original luxury car business to a Russian investor, to raise EUR32m (US$44m) in order to pay off debts.

Vladimir Antonov, who previously owned a stake in Spyker, will buy the sports car assets through a UK holding company, CPP Global Holdings, for an initial EUR15m (US$20.7m).

Analysts have said Spyker needs a strategic investor if it is to achieve its stated goal of turning Saab, which it bought from General Motors, into an independent and profitable niche player.

Spyker Cars confirmed it is negotiating to sell its sports car business and has signed a memorandum of understanding to sell the assets to UK holding company CPP Global Holdings, which is owned by Antonov.

Spyker CEO and Saab chairman Victor Muller, said the sale will separate the capital structure of Spyker and Saab.

He said in a statement: “Without Spyker we would not have been able to acquire Saab Automobile last year but the Spyker business soon became a small fish in a large pond as a result.”

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CPP Global Holdings will purchase virtually all assets related to Spyker’s business, including the Spyker trademarks and other intellectual property rights.

Spyker said that within six months of completing the sale, and subject to certain conditions, it would further reduce its debt level and interest payments through the conversion of loans and convertible bonds.

Last month Spyker said it was confident that Saab sales would accelerate this year to 80,000 vehicles and 120,000 in 2012, up from 31,696 in 2010.