Denmark could sell stake in SAS

The Danish government on Thursday said it was prepared to sell its 14.3 percent stake in Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) if Sweden opted to sell its share in the business.

Sweden’s centre-right opposition has signalled it plans to sell the Swedish state’s holdings in a number of companies, including its 21.4 percent stake in SAS, if it wins the country’s legislative elections on September 17.

SAS is half-owned by the three Scandinavian states. The Danish and Norwegian governments each hold 14.3 percent of SAS, while Sweden holds 21.4 percent. The remaining 50 percent is listed on the Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm stock exchanges.

“If the next Swedish administration agrees with the Norwegian government to sell (their shares), I will work actively to sell off Denmark’s stake,” Danish Finance Minister Thor Pedersen told the financial daily Boersen.

“The (Danish) state has no immediate interest in owning SAS shares,” Pedersen added.

According to Boersen, the Danish and Norwegian governments have kept their stakes in the airline to prevent Sweden from buying them and thereby concentrating SAS to Stockholm.

The Danish stake is valued at around 1.5 billion kroner (201 million euros, 258 million dollars), based on the current share price.