Lufthansa and SAS in takeover talks
Wednesday, September 17, 2008: Lufthansa and SAS are in early-stage discussions about a possible takeover which would position it as Europe’s second-biggest airline, according to news reports.
According to reports citing people with knowledge, both companies are said to have been in contact for weeks, but it was too early to speculate whether talks would result in a full-blown takeover.
SAS share prices has dropped two-thirds in the past 12 months, but jumped 15 per cent to 55 kroner last week following news of the takeover. Lufthansa’s share price remained largely unchanged.
According to analysts, because the Swedish government owns 21.4 per cent while Norway and Denmark each have a 14.3 per cent stake in the airline, a takeover would have to blend economic logic with social policy.
It has been suggested the German-based Lufthansa, which in recent times has done better than most rivals, is looking at the current industry crisis as an opportunity to expand. It is rumoured to also be in talks to buy Brussels Airlines and may bid for Austrian Airlines Group to further consolidate.