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NAS clear for stock market landing

Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS), which started flying low-fare domestic routes last year, now hopes to land firmly on the Oslo Stock Exchange. It will try to raise millions in new capital through a stocklisting early next year.

Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS), which started flying low-fare domestic routes last year, now hopes to land firmly on the Oslo Stock Exchange. It will try to raise millions in new capital through a stocklisting early next year.

The cut-rate carrier has steadily attracted passengers away from arch rivals SAS and Braathens since its launch on September 1, 2002. Its fleet of eight Boeing 737-300 aircraft now flies 12 routes within Norway and five to destinations outside the country.

It plans to launch six new routes next spring and maintains a low-cost, low-fare concept with tickets sold over the Internet.

Chief executive officer Bjoern Kjos told newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv on Tuesday that the airline now has engaged two brokers to evaluate how much money it should seek through a new stocklisting.

"The amount, of course, depends on the response from the market, but we're aiming for up to NOK 200 million (about USD 30 million)," Kjos said, adding that he wants NAS shares to be trading by mid-February.

The airline has called a special meeting of existing shareholders for November 24, at which the board will seek authority to move forward with a listing.

Analysts claim Norwegian Air needs an infusion of cash to secure continued expansion. The airline currently is owned by Kjos, who holds 30 percent of existing shares, and a host of other shareholders including Lufttransport as, Torghatten Trafikkselskap, Choice Hotels and Erik G Braathen, of the family that founded and later sold rival carrier Braathens when it teetered on the brink of bankruptcy.

 

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