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SAS falls after newspaper says Lufthansa won’t bid

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Written by editor

SAS Group, owner of Scandinavia’s largest airline, fell for a fifth day in Stockholm trading after a German newspaper said Deutsche Lufthansa AG won’t make a bid.

SAS Group, owner of Scandinavia’s largest airline, fell for a fifth day in Stockholm trading after a German newspaper said Deutsche Lufthansa AG won’t make a bid.

Lufthansa, based in Cologne, abandoned takeover plans after SAS reported its fourth consecutive quarterly loss on Nov. 5 as it wrote down the value of the unprofitable Spanair division, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing unidentified people in the industry.

“Speculation that the field of SAS bidders has narrowed is driving SAS shares lower,” Steven Brooker, a Copenhagen-based analyst with SEB Enskilda, said by telephone.

Analysts such as Geoff van Klaveren of Exane BNP Paribas have said Lufthansa is the most likely buyer of SAS after the Stockholm-based owner of Scandinavian Airlines said on Sept. 23 it’s in talks about a “structural solution” for the company.

SAS declined 2.7 kronor, or 7.7 percent, to 32.2 kronor. Lufthansa fell 5.9 percent, more than the 3.8 percent drop recorded by the Bloomberg World Airlines Index of 35 carriers.

Both airlines declined to comment on the newspaper report when contacted by Bloomberg News.

“Our previous statement from September that we’re seeking a structural solution still stands,” Sture Stoelen, an SAS spokesman in Stockholm, said by telephone.

Lufthansa “doesn’t comment on market rumors,” spokeswoman Claudia Lange said.