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SAS Faces In-Depth EU Investigation Into Aid by Sweden, Denmark

SAS Group, the Nordic region’s largest airline, faces an in-depth investigation by European Union regulators into whether state support by Sweden and Denmark in 2012 may have violated EU state-aid rules.

The European Commission “has concerns regarding the reliability of the business plan, on the basis of which the public shareholders decided to participate” in a new revolving credit facility that was part of a business plan prepared by SAS to help it become profitable again, the EU regulator said in a statement.

The European Low Fares Airline Association, whose members include Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA) and EasyJet Plc (EZJ), said in February SAS’s credit line of 3.5 billion Swedish krona ($546 million) was illegal state aid because it’s “effectively” guaranteed by the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian governments that own stakes in the carrier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Brussels via sbodoni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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