“The Icelanders will have to be able to print money to turn these companies around” said Michael Cawley, VP of Ryan Air at a news conference in Stockholm last August when asked about Fons Investment’s purchase of the airlines Sterling and Maersk Air (as reported by Morgunbladid).
In the wake of its acquisition of the two airlines, now merged under the name of Sterling, and after raising its stake in the British airline EasyJet by 2.2 per cent to a total of 16.2 per cent, FL-Group is planning an ISK 44 billion share offering.
According to Vidskiptabladid, the largest shareholders have spoken for ISK 28 billion, Kaupthing and Landsbanki another ISK 5 and ISK 3 billion, respectively, and key managers will invest for an additional ISK 3 billion. The banks underwriting the offering, Landsbanki and Kaupthing, have committed to raise the remaining ISK 5 billion; they will target professional investors in a private offering with a ISK 5 million minimum participation.
According to the Icelandic Stock Exchange, at the end of September the five largest shareholders in FL-Group were Oddaflug ehf, owned by Hannes Smárason, with 35.5 per cent; Landsbanki with 32.2 per cent; Arion Custody Services, a subsidiary of Kaupthing, with 3.1 per cent; Íslandsbanki with 2 per cent; and the Icelandic pension fund Gildi with 1.1 per cent.
According to Vidskiptabladid, the board of directors of FL-Group has recommended that the additional capital can be paid either with shares in the 10 largest companies on the Icelandic Stock Exchange or with cash.