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Sweden seeks buyer for ailing SAS: minister

Published: 20 Nov 2012 11:29 GMT+01:00

"We had a process underway for a while to try to find buyers for the company. Now we'll have to start again, we'll contact potential buyers and see where we land," Norman told financial daily Dagens Industri.

"You have to understand that the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish states have invested more than 10 billion kronor ($1.5 billion) in 10 years," he recalled, saying it would be "unreasonable to pump more billions into the company."

Sweden is the biggest state shareholder, ahead of Denmark and Norway which each hold 14.3 percent.

Norway and Denmark have also tried to sell their stakes for several years, but the company has attracted little interest among buyers owing to its high costs.

Stockholm agreed on Monday to make a loan to help SAS finance a vast restructuring plan.

The company's eight unions have agreed to the plan aimed at turning SAS' dire finances around through wage and job cuts, an administrative reorganization, divestments and outsourcing.

"My assessment is that before the agreement it was almost impossible to sell, but now I think the chances are better," Norman said.

He would not identify by name any potential buyers of a slimmed-down SAS.

"It could be the same buyers (that showed interest before), but it could also be new ones," he said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:39 November 20, 2012 by EtoileBrilliant
Who's going to touch SAS with a barge pole? The shareholders have tried for years to get this spinster up the aisle. Lufthansa are no longer interested and are sniffing around the Turkish delight. Until SAS consolidate the unions this is a no deal.

SAS isn't run for it's customers, it' s not even run for it's shareholders, it's run for its employees. I go to Frankfurt twice a month and I can never get an economy return ticket for less than €700. In contrast, the Amsterdam route it's never more than €250 even if it's booked at the last moment.

Give Norwegian their routes.
14:39 November 20, 2012 by mickeyonemore
Luthansa has been waiting in the wings for the last few years.Having been on the shop floor at STS maintenance bases in Stockholm and Oslo,they are shambolically run.Luffty's will make them great again like they used to be years ago.So many office staff walking around picking up massive salaries for what? Checking what the other person does? Also Stockholm have meetings to discuss whether they should have a meeting.Come on aboard Luthansa and sort this mess out.
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