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Air France-KLM seeks to raise USD2.4B in new share issue

PARIS (AFP) – Air France-KLM yesterday announced a bid to raise EUR2.26 billion (USD2.4 billion) by issuing new shares, as the debt-laden company seeks to put the coronavirus crisis that has ravaged its finances behind it.

The COVID-19 pandemic cost the Franco-Dutch airline some EUR11 billion (USD11.7 billion) over two years, after travel ground to a halt. The airline has some EUR7.7 billion of debt despite massive bailouts by the French and Dutch governments, which own minority stakes in the former flag carriers that merged in 2004.

The company’s shares fell by 5.41 per cent yesterday morning to EUR4.11 per share after the announcement.

The French and Dutch governments will take part in the latest funding round and keep the same percentage of shares, the airline said. The French state is the largest stakeholder with 28.6 per cent, while Netherlands holds 9.3 per cent. But two other main shareholders, the Chinese company China Eastern and the United States’ Delta Air Lines will see their stakes reduced in favour of a new player, French shipping giant CMA CGM.

China Eastern will see its share reduce to 4.7 per cent from 9.6 per cent, and Delta from 5.8 per cent to 2.9 per cent.

CMA CGM, based in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille, will invest up to EUR400 million, Air France-KLM said in a statement.

An Air France plane on the tarmac of the Schiphol airport as Air France-KLM announced a bid to raise EUR2.26 billion (USD2.4 billion) by issuing new shares, as the debt-laden company seeks to put the coronavirus crisis that has ravaged its finances behind it. PHOTO: AFP
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