THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- Spyker Cars NV, the Dutch luxury sports car maker which last year took over Sweden's Saab, said Thursday it has agreed to sell its sports car business to Russian banker Vladimir Antonov, a former stakeholder.
Spyker says the sale will allow it to exclusively focus on Saab and reduce debt.
The company said that according to a memorandum of understanding the sale price would be euro15 million ($20.6 million) on closing and up to euro17 million more in installments from 2011-2016.
Antonov used to own part of Spyker, but was forced out as a condition by General Motors to agree to sell the Saab brand in January 2010. At the time, tiny Spyker took out loans to buy it for $74 million in cash.
Last month, Spyker said sales of Saab cars doubled in its fourth quarter of 2010 to 11,404 from 5,346 in the same period a year earlier.
Spyker is due to release fourth-quarter earnings on March 25, after a euro39.9 million loss in the third quarter, when it sold 7,430 cars.
CEO Victor Muller said that following the Saab acquisition, "the Spyker Business soon became a small fish in a large pond."
Saab has said it plans to sell 80,000 cars this year and return to profitability.
Matts Carlsson, an auto analyst at Goteborg Management Institute, said it was expected that Antonov would eventually buy his way into Spyker.
"The key owner (Muller) has now had a year to see where Saab is heading and seems to believe that this is interesting enough to focus his efforts on," he said, noting that the deal is likely to separate the Spyker and Saab brands even more. "The focus on Saab Automobile will become more refined," he said.
Carlsson said the deal also is a possible signal that Antonov and Muller will cooperate further in the future.