Tag: Spyker

By on June 11, 2013

When Spyker sued GM for mucking with Saab’s failed deal with Youngman, and wanted $3 billion for its trouble, TTAC’s resident garage lawyers did not give Spyker big odds.

Yesterday, the suit was thrown out. (Read More…)

By on May 30, 2013

Victor Muller - Picture courtesy gp.se

Despite Victor Muller’s assurances that he is innocent, that he has not been accused of any crime, and that Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority most likely only wants to invite him for a friendly chat, Sweden’s  Göteborgs-Posten thinks it knows who is the target of the investigation:  Victor Muller, and Saab’s board. In the end, Victor Muller was alone on board.  Says the paper: (Read More…)

By on May 29, 2013

Victor Muller - Picture courtesy coolbrandsstories.wordpress.com

Former Saab Chairman Victor Muller “will be called in to answer questions related to a Swedish inquiry into alleged tax offenses at the bankrupt carmaker,” Sweden’s  Economic Crime Authority told Reuters. (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2013

Muller and lawyer Geers in court – Both are suspects of tax evasion

As suspected, the Swedish Saab scandal  over avoided taxes grows wider.  Yesterday, it reached the failed takeover artist Victor Muller. “Muller prime suspect in Saab tangle,” headlines Swedens Svenska Dagbladet, The paper obtained court documents that say Muller is wanted for questioning. (Read More…)

By on August 27, 2012

 

Victor Muller managed to sell out to China after all. Today it was announced (full press release here) that Muller’s Spyker and former Saab suitor Youngman will form two companies. Spyker calls them “joint ventures,” but they look more like companies owned mostly by Youngman, with Spyker holding a token share. (Read More…)

By on August 6, 2012

“YES!!!!!!!”

That was the first comment  from the acolytes of the recently a bit depressed fansite Saabsunited, when it was announced that Victor Muller’s Spyker sued GM for $3 billion over Saab’s bankruptcy.

“It’s hard to believe. We have no comment until we see the lawsuit,” said GM spokesman James Cain to Reuters. The complaint is attached to this message. (Read More…)

By on November 11, 2011

With Saab’s latest MOU with PangDa and Youngman expiring on Tuesday, the heat is on for parent company Swedish Automobile (SWAN) to hash out the many problems and disagreements between GM and the proposed Chinese buyers. And now that it’s fairly obvious that a deal won’t happen, as GM and the Chinese Government seem fairly well set against it, the question is “what next?” How do you plan an endgame that should have been initiated months, if not years ago? That’s the challenge being considered by the few remaining shareholders in SWAN, who are meeting in Holland to pick through the none-too appealing options.

(Read More…)

By on October 20, 2011

With both China’s NRDC and Sweden’s NDO appearing unready to approve the Chinese takeover of Saab before a Halloween bankruptcy deadline, it seemed that Saab was properly borked. Without Vladimir Antonov or Gemini Investment Fund to hit up for yet another “bridge loan,” we fully expected to see Saab placed into bankruptcy a week from Monday. But if Saab’s parent company, Swedish Automobile, had found a private equity fund that was gullible enough to rush in where Antonov feared to tread and drop $44m on Spyker… well, we should have known that North Street Capital would be fool enough to get sucked into the Saab maelstrom. And sure enough, Reuters reports that

The private equity firm of racing car enthusiast Alex Mascioli, which bought the luxury sports car business of the Dutch owner of Saab in September, is to invest $70 million in the cash-strapped car maker as Chinese bridge financing looks uncertain.

Here we go… again.
(Read More…)

By on September 28, 2011

Spyker, the high-end sportscar firm formerly run by Saab “savior” Victor Muller, has been sold to North Street Capital, a US-based private equity firm, reports the FT [sub]. According to the FT,

North Street said in a draft announcement seen by the Financial Times and due to be released later on Wednesday that “the transaction is expected to strengthen [Spyker] in its efforts for new product development and stronger positioning in its factory auto racing team”. No changes in Spyker’s operations are planned. Terms were not disclosed.

Muller had planned to sell Spyker to Vladimir Antonov, Saab’s erstwhile knight in shining (or not) armor but Antonov ran while he could, and now plans to build a modern interpretation of the Jensen Interceptor. Under the proposed sale to Antonov, Spyker was worth “€15m plus an “earn-out” worth up to €17m to be paid over six years,” but because the firm hasn’t produced a single car since 2009, it’s probably been sold for considerably less than that. The firm sold 36 units in 2009, and has never been profitable, losing about $300m last year (while trying to swallow Saab), and about $30m in 2009. In a 2009 interview with TTAC, Muller had targeted “2010 or 2011″ as his goal for turning a profit with Spyker, but thanks to the distractions surrounding the Saab “rescue,” it seems safe to assume that goal is nowhere in sight. Which is probably why the FT reports that

A person familiar with the North Street deal said that Swedish Automobile’s talks with CPP had collapsed.

Anyway, best of luck to North Street. Meanwhile, if the financial nightmare part of this story doesn’t particularly interest you, you can always check out Jack Baruth’s review of the $270k Spyker C8 Aileron here.

By on September 20, 2011

As the Saab/Spyker/Swedish Automobile mess falls deeper into chaos and hopelessness, Saab’s erstwhile knight-in-shining-armour, Vladimir Antonov has been slowly backing away from the ugly scene. Indeed, his firm CPP Holdings was supposed to buy Swedish Automobile’s Spyker Supercar division, but that deal has been on hold while Swedish Automobile concentrates on keeping Saab alive. And though the Birmingham Post reports that CPP still plans on buying Spyker eventually, it’s clear that having washed his hands of the Saab situation, Antonov is looking elsewhere in order to secure a Victor Muller-free future. But could Britain really offer a loaded young Russian an appealing sportscar brand to sink his hard-earned (or not, whatever) cash into? Anyone know what TVR is up to? Actually, it seems Antonov has gone one better than TVR, and has secured the right to make an “all-new” Jensen Interceptor from the ex-Jaguar plant at Browns Lane, Coventry. Does it get any more wealthy-Russian-trying-to-make-his-mark-on-the-British-sportscar-scene than that? According to Autocar, the new Interceptor will feature aluminum chassis and bodywork, with an attendant “ultra-exclusive” pricetag, and will be shown sometime next year ahead of a 2014 rollout. Because, oligarch.

By on July 29, 2011


SvD.se reports that would-be Saab rescuer Vladimir Antonov is considering legal action against the European Investment Bank and the Swedish Government, for keeping him out of an ownership stake at the failing Swedish automaker. Says Antonov

I have therefore decided to investigate the possibility of taking legal action, including but not limited to claims for damages, which may be of interest to various parties, including myself, the EIB, some officials at the EIB, the Swedish government and some government officials personally. By denying SWAN (Swedish Automobile) and Saab Automobile access to the funding that I offer, what these companies want and still desperately want, both the Bank and the Swedish government acted against all involved parties concerned, particularly against Saab and SWAN’s employees , suppliers, traders, lenders and shareholders

Antonov is reportedly investigating whether he can sue individual ministers of the Swedish government, while the ministers in question angrily deny that they are working against the interests of the Swedish auto industry. Meanwhile, far from calling for the overthrow of the government, the Swedish press is investigating Saab’s outlays for “management services” in recent years, and has found that CEO Victor Muller may be siphoning cash off to the tax haven of Curacao.
(Read More…)

By on June 15, 2011

A group of businesses that are owed anywhere between $198 and $744,083 could force ailing Saab to declare bankruptcy.  They have turned to the Swedish Enforcement Agency, better known (and feared) in Sweden as the “Kronofogden.” That agency introduces itself as follows:

“Is there a bill you cannot pay? Or are you not getting paid by someone who owes you money? In both cases, it will be Kronofogden that you come into contact with. A debt that is not paid ends up in Kronofogden´s register. This register is open for all to consult. As a result, anyone wishing to find out how someone else manages their finances can check the register. If a person´s name appears in the register, he/she can find it difficult to buy on hire purchase, borrow money or rent an apartment.”

Currently, there are 48 entries on that list that claim that Saab owes them.  Lots of suppliers. A few bill collectors. A patent attorney. One of the world’s largest CPA firms, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, demands $104,904.

Swedish online newspaper GT published a list of all the claims allegedly reported up to Tuesday. Here it is: (Read More…)

By on June 14, 2011

Strap on the man-pants, Saab fans, because there’s another heaping load of bad news for the Swedish brand this morning. First off, Saab’s mysterious Russian backer Vladimir Antonov has backed out of a deal in which he was to buy property at Saab’s Trollhättan plant and lease it back to the company, stabilizing its short-term cash position. Automotive News [sub] quotes an Antonov rep as saying

The property sale is now being discussed with external investors

Apparently the Swedish real estate investor Hemfosa has stepped into the breach and sources say a deal could happen quickly. Antonov’s man added that his boss was still interested in securing a shareholding in Saab, a move that has been awaiting approval by the European Investment Bank for some time now. But despite Antonov’s insistence that he’s not going anywhere, the real estate deal pullout is troubling. After all, if Antonov were really the Saab zealot he claims to be, willing to support and revamp the brand at any cost, wouldn’t he want to own the Trollhättan plant? Wouldn’t he want deed to the factory in case Saab, as it exists now, goes into bankruptcy? This is the first indication that Antonov is treating his Saab involvement as an investment rather than a crusade, which is frankly a bad sign for what’s left of the Swedish brand. On the other hand, with Chinese firms chopping up Saab, what’s a businessman to do?

(Read More…)

By on May 23, 2011

“There is almost no chance for the government to approve Pangda’s purchase of Spyker’s stake, let alone their plan to set up a new joint venture in China,” so said Zhang Xin, an analyst at Beijing-based Guotai Junan Securities, to Bloomberg. “The deal doesn’t fit in the government’s plan for consolidation.” (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2011

Saab has received wire transfers of around €30m from both Gemini Investments and the Chinese dealer group PangDa, reports Aftonbladet, and it will be using that money to pay off its supplier debts which could use up most of that cash (Saab’s supplier debts are estimated by DI.se at between two hundred and four hundred million kroner, or as much as €44m). Leaving aside the issue of how that money was able to be transferred from China to Sweden in a matter of two days (more on that from Bertel here, the short version: the deal should need Chinese government approval), there are serious questions about Saab’s ability to restart production. After all, the €30m from Gemini is debt, while Saab owes PengDa for an undisclosed number of vehicles that it bought with its investment. Unless those cars are sitting somewhere waiting to be shipped, Saab will have to pay off its suppliers and then build the cars on what is essentially credit from PengDa. Meanwhile, that’s not the only demand on Saab’s finances and attention, as CEO Victor Muller is planning on taking a bonus of over half a million dollars, a decision that is creating fresh problems of its own.

(Read More…)

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