SAS is the major air carrier in Scandinavia. Its four biggest shareholders are
In recent years, SAS has been enjoying an RCF provided by several banks, which should originally have expired in
The Commission opened an in-depth investigation in
In its investigation, the Commission found that the three states and the banks were not in a comparable position when deciding to participate in the new RCF, in particular in view of the exposure of some of the banks towards SAS beyond the RCF. However, the investigation has also established the robustness of the underlying assumptions of the business plan. Indeed, the plan has been reviewed by external advisers who confirmed its credibility. The plan is therefore an economically reasonable basis for the three States' decision to participate in the new RCF. Moreover, the risks taken by the States were further reduced as the collateral of the new RCF was sufficient.
On this basis, the Commission reached the conclusion that the new RCF was concluded on terms that a private investor operating under market conditions would have accepted. It therefore procured no undue economic advantage to SAS and did not entail state aid. The new RCF was never used and was effectively cancelled on
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