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SAS sells 49 percent stake in Estonian Air

SAS sells 49 percent stake in Estonian Air

Published: 04 Jun 2010 17:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Jun 2010 17:10 GMT+02:00

SAS has reached an agreement with the Estonian government to sell its 49 percent stake in Estonian Air.

"Since 2003, SAS has held a 49 percent interest in the airline. According to the Core SAS strategy with focus on the Nordic home market, this stake has been set out for divestment," said Sture Stølen, vice president and head of SAS Group investor relations, in a statement.

The agreement with the Estonian government involves SAS divesting its stake. The Estonian government will provide about 205 million kronor ($25.89 million) of new capital in a new rights issue. In return, SAS will convert about 20 million kronor it currently holds in loans into equity.

After the rights issue, the Estonian government will hold 90 percent of Estonian Air, with SAS holding the balance. SAS will also remain the lender of about 70 million kronor in loans with a maturity in 2014.

The transaction is neutral to the profit and liquidity of the SAS Group. Estonian Air has an option to buy out SAS' remaining stake and SAS has the option to sell its stake at fair market value in four years.

SAS will continue its commercial cooperation with Estonian Air, Estonia's national carrier. The airline was founded in 1991 and is also partially owned by investment bank Cresco.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

00:18 June 5, 2010 by aaww
cash is king
00:27 June 5, 2010 by Beavis
Estonian should try to get away from the incompetent SAS completely and run it properly themselves. Currently fares to Talinn are way overpriced from pretty much anywhere.
08:56 June 5, 2010 by Marc the Texan
The great thing about flying coach on SAS is that you get the exact same level of service as the first class passengers. I love the egalitarian ideal they strive for. Note to SAS fliers: Don't waste your money on a first/business class ticket.
23:05 June 6, 2010 by old git
Which SAS are you talking about Texan? Or are you being facetious?
01:43 June 7, 2010 by saucymugwump
Texan wrote: "Don't waste your money on a first/business class ticket"

As is often the case, Texans display their amazing ignorance of the world wrapped in arrogance.

There are three classes of service over the Atlantic Ocean with the following seat pitch:

- business: 79"

- economy extra: 38"

- economy: 32

SAS does not offer first class. Business class gets you a much better meal and unlimited alcohol (within reason).

For domestic (European) service, Texan almost has a point. There is no difference in seat pitch, but since the front of the plane is rarely sold-out, one can often stretch one's legs at an angle.

I think SAS is one of the better European airlines.
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