SEPTEMBER 29, 2007

Shareholders agree Spyker sale

The Spyker shareholders have approved the sale of the F1 team but that does not mean that the sale will go ahead as negotiations are continuing over money that needs to be paid to the Friesland Bank, which holds the rights to the Spyker corporate name which was used to secure a loan of $7m. The bank is worried that once the F1 team is sold the Spyker Cars NV company will shut down and is trying to get the debt paid by the buyers. This would push up the price. There is no reason why the buyers should pay except that the bank and the Spyker management can delay matters if they do not come up with money. The bank is arguing that shareholder Michiel Mol is having his loans paid by the company and that they also should. This has obviously put the sale under strain but money will no doubt solve the problem.

The future of Spyker Cars NV is (at best) in the balance. The company still has to face up to legal issues relating to the way its finances have been reported on the Amsterdam stock exchange and the fact that as a car company it needs some customers as financial juggling may make those involved rich but it does not create a solid firm.

Without the sale of the F1 team the entire business could be taken over by Alex Shnaider, the former F1 team owner. He is owed a large sum of money by the car company for the purchase of the team a year ago. Shnaider could take over the team and then sell it directly to Mallya and that would leave the Mol Family out of the loop completely. Thus it is in the interest of the family to get rid of the Friesland problem as quickly as possible.