Canada

Airline SAS agrees $1.5 bln financial boost with investors

SAS’s plan includes a deeply discounted share issue to its main owners and a broader rights issue, as well as new hybrid notes and the conversion of bonds.

“For current shareholders, it is a choice between the plague and cholera. If you do not join and subscribe for new shares, a massive dilution will occur,” said Nordnet analyst Per Hansen, pointing to the rights issue price of 1.16 crowns per share, which compares with Monday’s closing price of 8.88 crowns.

At 0838 GMT, SAS shares were down 9% at 8.04 crowns, taking year-to-date losses to around 50%.

The airline, which Gustafson said would have 35-40 planes in the air this summer against around 150 normally, does not see traffic returning to near pre-pandemic levels until 2022.

Norway, which sold its last stake in SAS in 2018, will pay the airline to continue its network in the country, and has offered loans to the sector, but is not part of the recapitalisation plan.

($1 = 9.3425 Swedish crowns)

($1 = 9.7470 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Niklas Pollard; Additional reporting by Simon Johnson and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

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