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SAS Group sells 80% of Widerøe to investor group

6-May-2013 9:33 AM

SAS Group sold (03-May-2013) 80% of its shares in Widerøe to an investor group including Torghatten ASA, Fjord1 AS and Nordland Fylkeskommune. SAS Group will retain a 20% share in Widerøe but plans to transfer full ownership of Widerøe to the investor group in 2016. The sale comes as part of SAS Group's restructuring programme with approximately SEK2 billion to be received for the divestment of Widerøe, and up to SEK2.3 billion in total proceeds if the remaining 20% is transferred in 2013. The proceeds will be used to reduce SAS Group's net debt by the same amount. SAS Group president and CEO Rickard Gustafsson said, "This divestment is in line with the 4Excellence Next Generation strategy to build a long-term financially strong SAS. We are pleased to have developed Widerøe into a successful airline under SAS' ownership and we look forward to continue strengthening Widerøe's position as the leading regional airline in Norway together with the new owners." The transaction is subjet to clearance from Norwegian competition authorities and is expected to be completed in Sep-2013. Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske, as quoted by, said the sale was good for both SAS and Widerøe and is a good long-term solution. [more - original PR] [more - original PR II]