Saab has branded as “confusing” the apparent stand-off between the Swedish government and Vladimir Antonov following the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) disclosure it would not allow the Russian businessman to be involved in the ownership structure.
A furious Antonov today (29 July) claimed the EIB and the Swedish government were denying access to funding of EUR100m (US$144m) to keep Saab afloat and raised the possibility of pursing damages claims.
For its part the Swedish government insisted it had acted correctly citing a new application sent from Saab in April for the EIB’s evaluation, while Saab appears to be caught in the middle.
“It is quite confusing and it seems to be between the EIB and government – they have some questions,” a Saab spokeswoman in Sweden told just-auto. “It is frustrating. From Saab’s point of view, we have not received notice of a rejection of anything.
“Our official position is we have not heard anything directly from the EIB. It appears they [EIB] will not consider changing the original set-up of the loan. But we still have the question, well why?”
The EIB insists there has been no change in its position maintaining the loan to Saab was made with the condition Antonov was not involved in the ownership structure.
A spokesman for the EIB told just-auto that stance was made to the Swedish government “at an initial stage,” although exactly when is unclear.
“Normally the EIB does not comment on its business relationship, but this time decision was made to make an exception,” the EIB spokesman said.