Norway to jettison SAS shares / News / The Foreigner

Norway to jettison SAS shares. The Norwegian Government has decided to sell its 14.3 per cent stake in Scandinavian Airlines. Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske has asked for Parliament’s permission to sell, arguing in the newly drafted national ownership report that the struggling airline could benefit from a commercial owner.   "SAS continues to face a number of challenges which they are likely to best meet with an industrial partner as owners," reads the ownership report, presented on Friday.

sas, trondgiske, scandinavianairlinesselloff, lufthansa, airfrance-klm, britishairways, airqatar



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Norway to jettison SAS shares

Published on Sunday, 3rd April, 2011 at 13:05 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

The Norwegian Government has decided to sell its 14.3 per cent stake in Scandinavian Airlines.

SAS A-340 Airbus engines
SAS A-340 Airbus engines
Photo: SAS


Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske has asked for Parliament’s permission to sell, arguing in the newly drafted national ownership report that the struggling airline could benefit from a commercial owner.  

"SAS continues to face a number of challenges which they are likely to best meet with an industrial partner as owners," reads the ownership report, presented on Friday.

Mr Giske mentions that the terms of a potential transaction are to be discussed with Swedish and Danish representatives, Norway’s partners in SAS, with all three governments jointly owning 50 percent.

He explained that in his view, the deal could be struck with a company having long-term investment plans that would also commit to maintaining services to Norway and protect Norwegian jobs.

There has been much uncertainty regarding SAS’ fate in the past year. In February 2010, the Norwegian Government intervened with 575 million NOK last-minute rescue package to save SAS from an economic crisis, and the company’s situation has not improved since then.

In January this year, it was thought that the Air France-KLM group, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and British Airways had engaged in a “biting war” for the shares owned by the three Scandinavian countries, causing stocks to spike 11 percent two days running.

Lufthansa announced on March 25th it is not interested in acquiring SAS stakes, stating concern about EU competition laws and the need to control the group’s current financial losses. 

"We currently have no plans for further acquisitions," Deutsche Lufthansa AG CEO Christoph Franz Konzerchef told the German industry magazine Aero.

Trond Giske has also said Norway was not in a hurry to sell its shares, alleging that conditions needed for such a transaction were not appropriate at the time.

“We don’t have a strong need to be owners in an airline company, so should an offer that satisfies all three criteria come along, we’d be open to selling.”

However, what with SAS continuing to lose money, Minister Giske says the situation has now changed.

"In this context, it is appropriate to seek a new industrial solution for SAS," the Minister writes the ownership report, refusing to discuss if Norway has received any interest for its SAS shares.

According to The Financial Times Deutschland, Air Quatar mentioned the possibility of buying SAS shares when announcing their global expansion aspirations in early March.




Published on Sunday, 3rd April, 2011 at 13:05 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

This post has the following tags: sas, trondgiske, scandinavianairlinesselloff, lufthansa, airfrance-klm, britishairways, airqatar.





  
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