LONDON – Norway’s government will sell its remaining stake on Scandinavian Airlines, which is also co-owned by Sweden and Denmark.
The trade ministry in Norway said that they are to sell their 37.8 million shares, which is around 9.88% of the airline’s total capital to private investors, indicating a private sell-off by the government.
The trade ministry said that “The Norwegian state is not a long-term owner of SAS.”
The sale is set to give the Norwegian state an extra $73.1 million for their economy.
Along with the Norwegian State, the Swedish government has also previously given interest to a sale of its shares.
This sell-off by the Norwegians mean that the decades-long collaboration between them, the Swedish, and the Danish governments will conclude when the sell-off is complete.
SAS noted to local media Ritzau that they have received the confirmation of intention by the Norwegian state to leave the company some time ago but are declining to comment on the specifics of the sale.
Sweden currently owns 14.8% of SAS and has previously said they are looking to sell it.
Denmark Not Willing To Sell
However, Denmark does not plan to sell its 14.2% stake on the airline anytime soon.
Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen said that the Copenhagen government has no intention to sell. “Norway’s exit marks the beginning of a new epoch in the company’s history. But that does not change the Danish state’s position on ownership of SAS. There is still political support for state ownership of SAS,” he said.
Norway’s Minister for Trade and Industry Torbjørn Roe Isaksen commented that his government “has made it clear that the state did not want to continue part-ownership of SAS in the long term. Parliament has given the government dispensation to sell the shares on a number of occasions. We now want to make use of that.”
This situation puts SAS in an odd spot. With both Sweden and Norway willing to sell its shares to private investors, the airline will eventually be partially owned by the Danish government and a majority party in the private sector.