Norway's Government is to look at selling its 14.3% shareholding in SAS Group as part of a revision of state ownership across 52 companies.

Trade and industry minister Trond Giske is proposing authorisation of the sale of SAS as well as stakes in several other businesses.

"Future ownership will be considered in relation to the changes that have occurred in the airline market in recent years," says the ministry.

Norway's Government has maintained its stake in SAS by contributing proportionally to two capital increases for the company - amounting to NKr709 million and NKr582 million respectively - during 2009 and 2010.

It also supported creation of a convertible bond issue of SKr1.6 billion and says that, in the event of conversion to equity from 2015, its stake would be diluted to just under 13%.

Around 5,300 of SAS Group's 15,000 personnel are employed in Norway.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news