Danes got the special role of Kastrup in SAS – E24

Danes got the special role of Kastrup in SAS – E24

In the future, too, Norwegian SAS customers will have to make do with a stop in Copenhagen. Denmark has specified in SAS's new target document that Kastrup will be the main airport.

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SAS has now published a shareholders' agreement between the four potential major shareholders.

The agreement contains more news on how SAS will be managed and developed. Here are the most important points.

Kastrup believes as a centre

Denmark will own 25.8% of the new SAS company. The Danes received a separate point about Kastrup Airport in a document outlining future SAS objectives. Major shareholders have committed to managing SAS in line with these objectives.

About Kastrup says:

“Copenhagen Airport will remain the central and primary hub for the Group's operational activities. This includes international connections (European and intercontinental) to and from Scandinavia.”

For Norwegian SAS customers, this means that they will also have to rely on a large number of stops in Copenhagen in the future, especially when they travel to far-flung places around the world.

– This is the reality

– The truth is that Copenhagen is already our most important city intersection, axis. Gardermoen is an important airport, and Norway is our largest market. But when it comes to the center's location, it's natural to place it farther south in Scandinavia, SAS CEO Anko van der Werff tells E24.

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– SAS and Copenhagen are good friends?

– Yes, best friends forever. We will still have long-haul flights from Oslo and Stockholm. “But Kastrup will still be our most important position,” answers Van der Werf.

The Danish state also received a separate bullet point stating that a separate goal for SAS is to continue to “contribute significantly to Denmark’s international connectivity and directly integrate into the global air transport network.”

The importance of Kastrup for Denmark

These points were clearly crucial for Denmark, which agreed to invest new billions of Danish kroner in SAS, after losing huge sums as a shareholder and lender.

Kastrup works both as an international center Danish business travels to and from all over the world, and is an economic engine for the Copenhagen region. More than 1,000 companies operate in and around the airport.

København Lufthavne AS, which owns Kastrup, has 2,400 employees. And not least: the Danish state owns 39 percent of this airport company with a market value of more than 65 billion Norwegian kroner.

SAS is obviously the largest in Kastrup and accounts for about a third of the traffic there.

Anko van der Werff will lead a Swedish company, but a significant portion of its ownership has been transferred from Stockholm to Copenhagen.

The President must obtain Danish approval

The shareholders agreement also stipulates that the future chairman of SAS must be independent of all four major shareholders.

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But here too Denmark was able to secure itself. The shareholders' agreement stipulates that Denmark must give its written approval before the election committee presents a candidate for the company's presidency to the other shareholders.

In total, the SAS Board of Directors will consist of ten members. Of these, seven are elected by shareholders and three by employees.

The president becomes independent. After that, Denmark must appoint two board members, as Castelaki does, while Air France-KLM must appoint one. The last elected shareholder member must have the support of two-thirds of all SAS shareholders.

Norway will become a shareholder again

E24 previously reported that the country of Norway is set to become a shareholder in SAS again this year. This is after the bankruptcy process in the United States of America is scheduled to be completed in the first half of the year. The Norwegian state could become a 2-2.5% owner, it all depends on how much of the state's claim against SAS will be settled in shares versus cash.

– Do you have any comfort to offer a reluctant shareholder like Norway?

– It's a matter of ownership. But we believe there will be a market for the stock. Air France-KLM has publicly stated that it has a purchase option. In the shareholders agreement, it is open to SAS to go public again at some point, says the SAS CEO.

SAS plane on its way to landing in Kastrup.  In the future also, many people will go to and from Gardermoen.

May require stock exchange listing

The shareholders' agreement between the four new major shareholders of SAS contains a number of provisions stating that they cannot sell their shares without further ado. But after five years, every shareholder can demand that SAS go public again. This is if the company is not acquired in the meantime.

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Air France-KLM's share should increase significantly in the coming years and may exceed 50 percent before five years have passed.

Carsten Dilling, the current chairman of SAS, believes that SAS will end up with two shareholders.

That was in an interview with Danish newspaper Berlingske Last October, Dilling made this prediction.

– What is most likely is that Air France-KLM and the Danish state will be the sole owners in the long term. But we may be talking about a process that could take four to seven years before everything is implemented, Dilling told Berlingske.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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