Scandinavia seeks EU green light for SAS guarantees - report

STOCKHOLM Fri Nov 9, 2012 8:05am GMT

A baggage belt truck passes behind the tail of a Scandinavian airline SAS Boeing 737 aircraft at the Stockholm-Arlanda airport in Sweden May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Johan Nilsson/Scanpix

A baggage belt truck passes behind the tail of a Scandinavian airline SAS Boeing 737 aircraft at the Stockholm-Arlanda airport in Sweden May 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Johan Nilsson/Scanpix

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Scandinavian governments have requested European Union approval to offer state guarantees on new loans to struggling airline SAS (SAS.ST), a Swedish newspaper reported on Friday.

The airline, in which Denmark, Norway and Sweden own a combined 50 percent stake, has been locked in talks with banks on securing financing to roll over debt coming due next year.

Business daily Dagens Industri, citing unidentified sources, reported the banks involved in the talks had demanded state guarantees on any new financing and that the Scandinavian governments had submitted a request to that effect to the EU.

SAS on Thursday postponed its third-quarter results, saying it was delaying publication until negotiations on efforts to ensure its survival had been finalised.

A new announcement, including the results, would come no later than November 12, it said.

SAS has not made a full-year profit since 2007 and has previously said its turn-around plan is expected to yield about 3 billion Swedish crowns ($447.60 million) in earnings before tax. It also aims to sell assets totalling around 3 billion crowns.

A Swedish government spokeswoman declined to comment.

($1 = 6.7024 Swedish crowns)

(Editing by Jane Merriman)

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