12 September 2008

Euro Shark Tail - Episode 3, SAS Flounders, LH Circles

SAS Shares were suspended in afternoon trading as a sharp run up in the stock price after a rumour started circulating that LH was interested and discussing a tie up.

Wow! the corporate development department must be burning the midnight oil in Frankfurt over the past few weeks.

To recap... they have expressed interests in:

Alitalia and/or AirOne
Brussels Airlines
SAS (which would also give them a foot print in Spain through the ailing Spanair).
TUI or Thomas Cook vs various tie up options with their investment in German Wings

SAS has been back on the ropes this past year. Again failing to capitalize on the strength of their business over the last boomlet, they have been hard hit with high costs of fuel and labour. They have failed to shed the loss making Spanair. At the same time they will need to focus on their core business. Norwegian Air Shuttle has been eating SK's lunch in Norway that has spread its reach across some of the most profitable commuter routes in the world.

It seems ironic that after all the attention on US based consolidation at the beginning of this year, we now see the focus on European consolidation.

Again I will ask - is anyone in Brussels paying attention?

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