Staff Reporter

SCANDINAVIAN airline SAS is studying selling the Spanish airline Spanair to the Grupo Marsans, but it is also contemplating other options, acording to Sture Stolem, head of the relations with investors department. “We want to realise company assets and are open to different interests. If Marsans is interested, this option will be studied seriously, but we have to obtain a good price for the company,” he said.

Marsans controls five per cent of Spanair but agreement has been reached for it to sell this five per cent to SAS, making it the full owner, and giving the sales process “a clearer structure.” Stolem said “Spanair is “a good company, with a strong position in Spain.” He added that it had been managed well by its president, Gonzalo Pascual, and had maintained good relations with SAS. “We want the best solution for the company and we want to be sure of guaranteeing Spanair a future to continue growing in the way it has been to date,” Stolem said.

Spanair is Spain's second biggest carrier with 3'570 employees.

Pascual, who is also owner of the Marsans group, said that Marsans had made an offer in which debts and credits are included.
He added that if the group had to seek finance, it would look for “a stable investor, not a speculator.” He added it was important for Spanair to have mainly Spanish capital, so that it won't have “limitations.” Gunnar Reitan, the executive vice president of SAS, said that the company is studying “all the options,” including selling all the shares or going on the stock exchange.

But he declined to put a value on the airline and said that the value of the transaction would “be made public in a few months.” Pedro Solbes, the Spanish finance minister, when asked about the purchase of Spanair, said that what the government was most concerned about was “maintaining the jobs.”


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