SAS Scandinavian Airlines has taken a groundbreaking step by joining forces with Air France-KLM and investment firms Castlelake and Lind Invest. Despite facing financial hardships, SAS has proven its resilience by securing a deal aimed at revitalising its operations.
The Takeover Deal
The takeover offer presented by Air France-KLM, along with two financial partners, was accepted by the SAS board to enable the resumption of operations for the Scandinavian company. Despite the difficulties, SAS remains the leading airline in Scandinavia, serving over 17 million passengers.
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The SAS Management Board announced on Tuesday, October 3, that Air France-KLM and the global investment firms Castlelake L.P. and Lind Invest APS - Danish Family Office investment funds, will become, alongside the Danish state, the main shareholders of the Scandinavian Airlines as part of the financing acquisition process initiated by SAS.
According to the details made public, the total value of the investment stands at a whopping SEK 12.9 billion (EUR 1.1 billion). Air France-KLM's stake accounts for USD 144.5 million (EUR 138 million), with the remaining amount funded by investment firms and the Danish government.
"This is an important implementation of our transformation plan", said Carsten Dilling, Chairman of the Board of Directors at SAS, in a statement. "We conducted an extensive bidding process, a thorough evaluation, and are confident that the selected offer is the most advantageous for SAS, its creditors, and other stakeholders," Dilling added.
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"SAS presents significant potential for Air France-KLM. This cooperation will allow Air France-KLM to strengthen its presence in the Nordic countries," said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, in a group press release.
Air France-KLM has indicated that it will acquire a minority stake of up to 19.9% of the share capital of SAS AB, subject to certain conditions and obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.
SAS filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. last year after years of struggling with high costs and falling travel demand related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shares in Scandinavian Airline SAS plunged by 95% as markets opened on Wednesday, after the company announced a restructuring deal late on Tuesday that will see it delisted from exchanges. Losses have since pared back, with shares last down by around 83%.