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Air France-KLM Investment in SAS Gets U.S. Court Approval

SAS has received court approval to enter into an investment agreement as part of its exit financing solicitation process. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has given the green light for SAS to proceed with an investment agreement with a consortium of investors. They include Castlelake, Air France-KLM, Lind Invest, and the Danish State.

Air France-KLM gains 20% equity through this agreement in Scandinavia’s largest airline. SAS will leave the Star Alliance and join SkyTeam.

SAS 70 Years Commemorative Livery Source:SAS
70 Years Commemorative Livery Source: SAS

This agreement involves a total investment of USD 1,200 million (SEK 13.2 billion) in reorganized SAS.

  • USD 475 million (SEK 5.225 billion) in new unlisted equity
  • USD 725 million (SEK 7.975 billion) in secured convertible debt.

Moreover, SAS has also received court approval for a new debtor-in-possession financing credit agreement. Established with Castlelake, the agreement is for USD 500 million (SEK 5.5 billion).

Post-reorganization, the shareholder structure will be as follows:

  • Castlelake will hold approximately 32% of the equity
  • The Danish State will hold around 26%
  • Air France-KLM will hold about 20%
  • Lind Invest will hold around 9%.
  • The remaining equity will be distributed among certain creditors.

A Key Milestone in the SAS FORWARD Plan

Anko van der Werff, President & CEO of SAS, said: “The investment agreement that was approved by the court today is a key milestone in our SAS FORWARD plan, and it shows that our new investors believe in SAS and our potential to remain at the forefront of the airline industry for years to come.”

However, the agreed exit transaction still requires approval regarding the confirmation of SAS’ Chapter 11 reorganization plan. SAS anticipates obtaining approval from the court in early 2024, followed by regulatory approvals and implementing a Swedish company reorganization. The recovery for general unsecured creditors will be modest. Subordinated unsecured creditors or existing shareholders of SAS AB will have no recovery.

For more information about SAS’ voluntary Chapter 11 cases, visit the dedicated restructuring website at https://sasgroup.net/transformation. Court filings and related documents are on a separate website administered by SAS’ claims agent, Kroll Restructuring Administration LLC, at https://cases.ra.kroll.com/SAS.

SAS is the leading airline in Scandinavia, with hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm. The airline commits to sustainable aviation and reducing carbon emissions. SAS drives the transition towards net zero emissions by investing in sustainable aviation fuel, fuel-efficient aircraft, and technology innovation.

[1] All amounts cited are based upon an assumed USD/SEK exchange rate of 11.00.

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