June 27, 2018 / 4:42 AM / in 5 months

Norway sells remainder stake in SAS airline

OSLO, June 27 (Reuters) - The Norwegian government has completed the planned sale of its remaining 9.88 percent stake in Scandinavian airline SAS, the country’s ministry of trade and industry said on Wednesday.

The Norwegian state had gradually reduced its stake in SAS, and the latest sale of 37.8 million shares finalised its exit from the Sweden-headquartered airline company.

“The Norwegian state’s ownership in SAS has been purely commercial. Consequently, it is not expected that the company will be making strategic or operational changes following the transaction,” the ministry said on Tuesday when announcing its decision to carry out the long-awaited sale.

The stake was sold to institutional investors via a book-building process at 17.25 Swedish crowns ($1.94) per share, a 3.1 percent discount to Tuesday’s closing price of 17.81 crowns.

Gross proceeds for the government were 652 million Swedish crowns ($73.42 million), equivalent with approximately 597 million Norwegian crowns, the ministry added.

Nordea, Pareto and UBS were joint global co-ordinators and bookrunners for the transaction, while Swedbank and Wiersholm acted as an independent financial adviser and legal counsel respectively to the Norwegian state, it added. ($1 = 8.8807 Swedish crowns)

Reporting by Terje Solsvik, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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