Shropshire Star

Shares in Scandinavian Airlines plunge after rescue deal announced

Scandinavian Airlines will be taken off the stock exchange in the second quarter of 2024 and no payment will be made to current shareholders.

Scandinavia Airlines

Shares in Scandinavian Airlines dropped more than 90% after the ailing carrier announced new shareholders in a restructuring scheme that will see the company delisted and existing ownership stakes erased.

The rescue deal involving airline alliance Air France-KLM and private equity firms Castlelake and Lind Invest, which became investors alongside the Danish state, was presented late on Tuesday.

The deal means that Scandinavian will receive 475 million dollars (£393 million) in new equity and 700 million dollars (£579 million) in convertible debt.

Scandinavian Airlines will be taken off the stock exchange in the second quarter of 2024 and no payment will be made to current shareholders.

Castlelake will become the biggest shareholder with a 32% stake, while Air France-KLM will hold 20%.

The Danish government will hold 26% of the shares. Lind Invest will control 8.6% and the remaining shares will “most likely … be distributed among and held by certain creditors who may receive recovery in equity”, Scandinavian said in a comment.

Shortly after trading opened on Wednesday at Nasdaq Nordic, which owns most stock exchanges in the Nordic-Baltic region, Scandinavian shares dropped 96% and climbed from there to an 84% drop.

The details and final documentation for the agreed transaction structure still must be finalised between the investors and Scandinavian, the company said in a statement. The transaction will also need to be approved as part of Scandinavian’s chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it added.

In July 2022, Scandinavian Airlines filed for bankruptcy in the United States, saying it had “voluntarily filed for Chapter 11, a legal process for financial restructuring conducted under US federal court supervision”.

By doing that it put civil litigation on hold while the business reorganizes its finances.

Airline chair Carsten Dilling said that “securing new capital is one of the key pillars” of its plan called SAS Forward, and that the new investment should help “facilitate our emergence from the US Chapter 11 process”.

Its chief executive, Anko van der Werff, said the deal “shows that our new investors believe in SAS and our potential to remain at the forefront of the airline industry for years to come”.

The Swedish government’s stake will be wiped out under the proposed deal. Scandinavian said it did not need approval of existing shareholders. Norwegian broadcaster NRK said it would affect some 255,000 shareholders.

The airline also will move from its current Star Alliance group and join Air France-KLM’s SkyTeam that counts Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, among others.

Created in 1946, Scandinavian Airlines has hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm and flies to destinations in Europe and overseas.

Scandinavian Airlines is part-owned by the governments of Sweden and Denmark.

In 2018, Norway sold its stake but holds debt in the airline, and the Swedish state had indicated it would put in no fresh money.

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