Vladimir Antonov, the Russian financier who General Motors vilified during its original deal to sell its beleaguered Swedish automotive marque Saab to Spyker Cars NV in 2009, has once again been used to block the ongoing attempts to save the troubled Automobile Manufacturer. As the European Investment Bank (EIB) has held firm upon its stance to block any involvements with Antonov in the restructuring of Swedish Automobiles NV, which a spokesman for
says has potentially cost Saab a loss of one Billion Kronor’s! Vladimir
As I’ll admit I know very little about the ‘Rooskie, asides from what I’ve read upon le Internetz... As Mr.
Joe Saward:“The person to watch in all of this appears to be Russian banker Vladimir Antonov. He is into cars in a big way and owns the Spyker brand and is now producing Spykers via a company called CPP Manufacturing Ltd (
Antonov is an interesting individual. His grandfather Yuri was one of the pioneers of the Soviet atomic programme in the 1940s and his father Alexander worked in to the atomic industry. As a result
Antonov managed to turn the Akademkhimbank bank around and in February 2003 he and his father Alexander acquired Conversbank. This had previously serviced state-owned companies belonging to the Ministry of Atomic Energy. Both the MDM group and Alfa Bank wanted to control it, in order to get its clients. MDM and Alfa finally split the assets and sold the bank itself. According to Kroll, Antonov acquired the bank simply because it allowed him to operate in foreign currencies and open operations abroad. He added other banks to the group in the years that followed and created a new holding company called Investbank, based in
There have long been allegations that he was involved in organised crime, something that he denies strenuously, saying that these stories have come about because some of the banks he has acquired had dubious histories and because of a campaign to discredit him by a former Russian Central Bank executive, who he outwitted in a takeover fight for a bank; and as the result of a “black PR campaign” orchestrated by individuals representing the Chechen Mafia, who tried to force him and his father to sell the Convers Group at a very low price. Antonov says that this was the reason that hit men tried to kill his father in
Antonov has owned Bankas Snoras, an important Lithuanian bank, since 2003. His explanation for this is that he wanted to own a bank in the EU and
Last year Antonov sold his shares in Investbank and has been investing the money in other businesses, notably in the automotive and motorsport sectors, while continuing his banking operations with the Convers Group and with Snoras.”
(Source: Interesting trends and stories from F1 by Joe Saward)
Ironically, it seems that former Spyker Cars NV Chief Executive Officer Victor Muller should be the one being investigated – as to date he’s managed to run not one but two Automobile companies and a Formula 1team into the ground... As reputedly Antonov and Muller have had differences of opinion upon the Swedish Automakers direction in the past, yet the Russian now seems keen to invest a minority shareholding (less than 30% stake) in the new Swedish Automobiles NV – the latest owners of Saab.
Antonov has also gobbled up the Italian Automotive design firm Zagato recently, along with purchasing the Bowler Offroad Company in a separate deal and has previously loaned money to Renault F1. Thus, what better way to promote his Automotive brands (Empire) Spyker and Zagato by perhaps purchasing the faltering Renault F1 team? As after all its got a very promising Rooskie driver onboard and there’s something called the Russian Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar for 2014 around the Winter Olympics Black Seaside resort Sochi; Hmm? Perhaps he could rename it Spyker Zagato F1?
ButHey! Don’t get ‘Bowler-overed, (funny, eh?) Err go all Cattywompous on this Speculation – since after all, I’m NOT a “REAL” Journalist – DAMMIT Joe! I’m just a cut ‘N paste ‘Vurd Botcherer...