Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Norway sells remaining stake in SAS airline

Stock MarketsJun 27, 2018 09:30
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Scandinavian SAS airline passenger plane flies near the air traffic control tower at Roissy airport, near Paris

By Camilla Knudsen and Terje Solsvik

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway sold its remaining 9.88 percent stake in Scandinavian airline SAS (ST:SAS) for 652 million Swedish crowns (55.61 million pounds), it said on Wednesday, adding this was not the start of a privatisation drive by the centre-right government.

The Norwegian state, a partial owner of SAS since 1946, has gradually cut its holdings and the latest sale of 37.8 million shares finalised its exit from the Sweden-headquartered airline.

"SAS has developed well in recent years and capital markets are strong, making this a good time to sell," Industry Minister Torbjoern Roe Isaksen told Reuters.

"There are also uncertainties linked to state ownership, it's not just income, there can also be expenses," the minister said, adding that the Norwegian state had injected around 1 billion crowns ($122.89 million) into SAS in 2009-2010.

The stake was sold via book-building to multiple institutional investors for 17.25 Swedish crowns ($1.94) per share, a 3.1 percent discount to Tuesday's closing price of 17.81 crowns. SAS was not expected to change its strategy or operations as a result, Roe Isaksen said.

By 0751 GMT shares traded down 3.9 percent in Stockholm at 17.11 crowns.

The airline industry will see significant change, he said, adding that privatisation, passenger growth and the entry of new players in recent years will drive development.

"It's likely that we face bigger consolidation in the airline market," he said.

Budget carrier Norwegian Air (OL:NWC), which has surpassed SAS to become the largest Nordic carrier by passenger volume, is itself the subject of takeover interest by the likes of British Airways-owner IAG (L:ICAG) and Lufthansa (DE:LHAG). [nL8N1TK10K]

The Swedish and Danish governments remain SAS' top owners with holdings of 14.8 and 14.2 percent respectively. But while Sweden has signalled its willingness to cut its stake at some point, Denmark is reluctant to do so for fear of damaging Copenhagen Airport's (CO:KBHL) position as a major regional hub.

Norway's SAS sale should not be seen as the start of a privatisation drive, Roe Isaksen said.

The government is the top shareholder of telecoms group Telenor (OL:TEL), aluminium firm Norsk Hydro (OL:NHY), fertiliser maker Yara (OL:YAR) and defence contractor Kongsberg Gruppen (OL:KOG), as well as of oil firm Equinor (OL:EQNR), formerly known as Statoil .

"Selling out of SAS is enough," the minister said.

Norway sells remaining stake in SAS airline

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email