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Airline SAS says more bondholders back recapitalisation plan

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish-Danish SAS (SAS.ST) said on Wednesday that a growing number of bondholders had indicated they backed the debt to equity conversions needed for the airline to move ahead with recapitalisation plans to see it through the pandemic.

The airline, part-owned by the governments of Sweden and Denmark, is looking to drum up support among bondholders for the conversions on which the owners’ cash injections for the 14 billion Swedish crown ($1.61 billion) recapitalisation plan hinge.

The company said in a statement it had been informed that owners of 72.5% of the bonds and 77.0% of holders of hybrid notes had so far authorised an agent to vote in favour of the conversions.

This represented a sizable increase from earlier this month, when SAS said holders of 42% of bonds and 53% of hybrid notes supported the plan and leaves it far closer to securing the necessary support for the scheme to go ahead.

At bondholder meetings scheduled for Sept.2, at least 80% of the attending nominal amount of the bonds, and at least two thirds of that of the hybrid notes, must vote in favour for the swaps to go ahead.

The recapitalisation plan, key to securing the future for a carrier that has been hard hit by the collapse in air travel due to the pandemic, is thereafter subject to approval at an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in late September.

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