Muller bought Saab from borrowed money as reports show that his personal risk in Saab is very minimal as well as confusing internal financial reportsThursday, 27 October 2011
Saab's CEO Victor Muller has taken a relatively small financial risk in Saab. Instead, the Swedish tax payers and the Russian banker, Vladimir Antonov, are the ones who could be the big losers if the company goes bankrupt.
Swedish media reports hold that the CEO Victor Muller’s own capital investment in the business has been very minimal. His small fortune gained in the 2000s has largely disappeared into the small sports car manufacturer Spyker and losses in exclusive privacy deals.
When he managed to take over the company at the beginning of 2010 Saab was instead funded by a number of lenders who accounted for the required amount of money. One of the biggest lenders till date is the European Investment Bank EIB which provided a loan which is valued today as around Skr2 billion.
The loan is guaranteed by the Swedish State – that is the Debt Office with its director Bo Lundgren. It was the government and the then Minister for Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson, who gave the authority for the deal to go ahead in that direction.
AdvertisementThis means that if Saab goes bankrupt, Swedish taxpayers will foot the Skr1 billion bills unless there are sufficient assets in the company to sell and recuperate the whole money. According to the Swedish Debt Office the company lacks adequate collateral for the loans.
It turns out that the Russian billionaire that has been a point of death of this company, Victor Antonov stands behind several of the loan into the company according to Swedish television report.
When Victor Muller and Spyker bought Saab, he was forced to borrow Skr2.4 billion by the former owner of Saab, American General Motors (GM). The Bank EIB loan limit was at a total of Skr4 billion.
Part of the purchase price, Skr180 million, came from Victor Muller's private companies. But the money was in turn borrowed from a then secret financier. Later, it emerged that behind many of the loans is the Russian banker Vladimir Antonov.
According to recent annual report, Muller Company Tenaci lent out about Skr650 million but it turns out that the money was borrowed to Muller. Antonov controlled at the end of the year approximately 28 percent of the Saab Group. It is as big a stake as Muller.
Then there was also the big loans taken out of the Fund GEM. It came in to add to the additional requirements of most of these loans which are tied to the special agreements that the loans can be converted into shares which they did in several cases.
Another major lender is Dutchman, Pieter Hereema which through the company, Epcot lent $ 25 million. Pieter Hereema was a member of Saab’s board up to last spring when he resigned along with other members.
The above analysis also come as a result of accusation which Swedish television analysed that even though the company is dying for lack of money, Muller's total compensation in cash, has grown to approximately Skr18 million since 2010. Bu the Dutchman has countered that by claiming that Swedish television analysis was not correct and that the correct amount was Skr10 million
Victor Muller himself declares according to Swedish television that that there are amounts in the financial statements of Saab Automobile and parent company Spyker Cars that overlapped.
On the whole, Swedish television several details about Victor Muller's compensation still remain unclear.
Victor Muller is also reported to have great interest in the rate agreement for the money his company lent to Saab. The interest on loans is set at the reference rate EURIBOR plus 6 - 10 percent.
This means that Saab most have paid around 12 percent interest on the loans.
According to Muller, the interest rate on the loan is in line with market rates. He also writes in his email to Swedish television that his company Tenaci did not charge any margin on the loan.
By Scancomark.se Team
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