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SAS Take Over Of Braathens Approved

Tue Oct 23, 2001 7:17 pm

SAS acquisition of Braathens approved by authorities:
One of several agreed conditions for implementing the transaction is thereby fulfilled

The Norwegian Competition Authority (Konkurransetilsynet; "KT") has today announced its approval of the SAS' acquisition of the Norwegian
airline Braathens.

At the same time, SAS notes that the KT is not taking action for the moment against frequent flyer programs, corporate client agreements and agency deals.

Other terms in the agreement with Braathens' majority shareholders

It must be emphasised that the agreement between Braathens' majority shareholders and SAS contains a number of conditions in addition to approval by the authorities. Such conditions are customary in an
agreement of this kind, and relate in alia to the financial status of Braathens and to certain legal aspects.

Other conditions, including the acceptance of the offer by shareholders representing more than 90 per cent the Braathens shares and completion by 31 December 2001, must also be fulfilled before the transaction can be implemented.

It is unclear today whether the terms and conditions specified in the agreement are or can be fulfilled. This will be clarified in the immediate future.

Big challenges for the industry

SAS has been and remains of the view that consolidation is necessary to safeguard and strengthen Norway's civil aviation system, and thereby to secure satisfactory terms and competitiveness for this sector
internationally. The tragic events of 11 September have further underlined the need for such strengthening.

At the same time, it must be appreciated that the position in the civil aviation business has changed dramatically since the agreement was concluded in May. The whole industry faces very substantial challenges, and some companies are already experiencing acute financial problems. Norway's airlines are not exempted from similar challenges. SAS has already reduced its production by 12 per cent, taken 16 aircraft out of service and cut its workforce by the equivalent of about 1 000 full-time jobs. Other far-reaching measures are also being adopted to improve results.

SAS will now concentrate on the further process, which involves clarifying all the terms and conditions that must be fulfilled for the transaction to be implemented as agreed.

Source: SAS Communications