STOCKHOLM, July 12 (Reuters) - The Swedish government is seeking buyers for its holding in airline SAS, business magazine Affarsvarlden reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.
A consortium of private investors was eyeing the stake in the airline but had so far struggled to secure funding for a deal, the magazine reported.
“At least two investors are on board, but they need an additional few partners to nail down the funding to take over the entire stake,” the magazine quoted an unidentified source as saying.
A spokesman for Swedish Enterprise Minister Mikael Damberg had no immediate comment regarding the report.
The Swedish government owns a 17 percent stake in SAS but has a parliamentary mandate to sell the shares and has said it does not consider itself a long-term owner of the airline which has struggled in the face of fierce competition in recent years.
Sweden and Norway last year sold 23 million shares in SAS in a first step toward the governments exiting their long-standing holdings in the carrier.
Affarsvarlden reported Nordea was now seeking to line up new long-term owners to buy the Swedish government’s stake.
SAS shares were unchanged at 0835 GMT compared to a 0.8 percent rise in the Stockholm bourse’s blue chip index .
$1 = 8.3943 Swedish crowns Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard