Saab Suppliers Seek Antonov Contact

Suppliers to cash-strapped Swedish car maker Saab have tired of the ongoing financing uncertainty and have sought direct contact with Russian financier and would-be Saab investor Vladimir Antonov.

The Saab suppliers are hopeful that Antonov will be cleared to become a formal shareholder in Saab.

“What is being done is not fair. Now is the time for those who say no to Antonov show their hand. Neither the government nor the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been able to say why they don’t approve him,” said Svenåke Berglie, chair of Fordonskompentgruppen (FKG), the trade association representing Scandinavian suppliers to the automotive industry, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

Anontov is scheduled to participate in FKG suppliers’ day in September, where he will be interviewed by TV 4 reporter Lennart Ekdahl.

Berglie is behind the initiative, saying that it is time for Saab to “bring in more heavyweight ownership”.

“This could be Antonov,” he said to DN.

EIB’s reluctance to approve Antonov may be related to his criticism of Lithuania’s central bank. The bank has previously claimed that the Antonov-owned Snoras bank has been casual in its lending policy.

Antonov has rejected the claims.

The Swedish government has said that it will take a positive decision on Antonov – provided he gets the green light from the EIB and the US car giant GM, which retains a stake in Saab.

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