Authorisation to take part in the recapitalisation of SAS AB
The Government proposes that the Riksdag authorise the Government to take part on behalf of the State in a recapitalisation of SAS AB (SAS) with an amount totalling SEK 5 billion at most. SAS is important to meeting society’s fundamental needs in terms of accessibility by air travel in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. This authorisation means that the Swedish State will be given a mandate to take the measures necessary to enable the State’s participation in a recapitalisation of SAS. If the Swedish State is to take part in a recapitalisation, the Government will work to ensure that SAS sets new ambitious goals to reduce emissions. Participation of the Swedish State also requires approval by the European Commission.
The Government will today present a bill to the Riksdag to be able to take part in a future recapitalisation of SAS. The Government proposes that the Riksdag authorise the Government in 2020 to purchase, on behalf of the State, shares totalling a maximum of SEK 5 billion or to take other similar measures aimed at recapitalising SAS and, within this framework, increasing the State’s share of votes and shareholding in SAS.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in a major reduction in air traffic. This is a clear consequence of the need to reduce the spread of the virus in society. As a result of this, the finances of the entire aviation industry have been impacted negatively. But it can also be noted that air traffic at Swedish airports was already declining before the outbreak of the pandemic. SAS is important to meeting society’s fundamental needs in terms of accessibility by air travel in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The State must create the conditions for businesses to get through this crisis, even in the affected aviation industry. The purpose of the State’s participation in the recapitalisation is to enable SAS to survive.
As the largest owner of SAS, it is natural that the Swedish State take responsibility in this crisis, but responsibility will also be required from other stakeholders. It is crucial that SAS become a long-term profitable and sustainable company after this crisis. For this reason, the company’s plan needs to be based on contributions from both the company’s lenders and other stakeholders, including shareholders, suppliers, employees and trade union organisations.
If the Swedish State is to take part in a recapitalisation, the Government will work to ensure that SAS sets new ambitious goals to reduce emissions from both domestic and foreign flights. The company needs to show a plan for how its strategic focus can gradually be developed in line with the 1.5 degree Celsius target in the Paris Agreement. The Government will also carefully monitor the company’s climate work and regularly conduct in-depth climate analyses.
The State’s participation requires approval by the European Commission.