Air France-KLM prices capital hike at 4.84 euros per share

PARIS (Reuters) – Air France-KLM on Tuesday launched a capital hike at 4.84 euros ($5.76) per share as part of a 4 billion-euro recapitalisation to shore up its finances amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The airline said in a statement it could raise up to 1.036 billion euros if demand was sufficient to exercise an option to increase the size of the rights issue.

It added that the subscription pricing amounted to an 8.85% discount to Monday’s closing price.

Shares of the Franco-Dutch company were down 4.33% at 5.08 euros at 0810 GMT, the worst performer on France’s French SBF 120 index.

Air France-KLM said on Monday it will expand its partnership with China Eastern Airlines, as the Chinese carrier committed to subscribe to the issue. It will hold less than 10% of the firm’s capital.

The French state will cover as much as two-thirds of capital increase.

($1 = 0.8404 euros)

Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Air France KLM wins EU okay for $4.7 billion recapitalisation

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission approved on Tuesday a French proposal to grant up to 4 billion euros ($4.72 billion) to recapitalise virus-hit Air France KLM in return for giving up to 18 slots per day at Paris Orly airport to a rival carrier.

The EU executive said France will have to present an exit strategy for the airline within 12 months unless it has reduced the state stake to below 25% by then.

It said Air France KLM will be banned from paying dividends, non-mandatory coupon payments, making share buybacks and giving out bonus payments to management until the recapitalisation is redeemed.

($1 = 0.8470 euros)

Paris, EU near deal on Air France bailout conditions: Report

The French government and the European Union’s executive are close to an agreement on the terms of a bailout for Air France, which like other carriers has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, Le Monde reported.

The expected deal would see Air France give up fewer airport flight slots at its Paris base than initially sought by the European Commission, notably at Orly airport, the newspaper said in a report published late on Friday.

Contacted by Reuters, a spokeswoman for the Commission said it was in contact with the French authorities. “We cannot prejudge the timing or outcome of these contacts,” she added.

Air France and France’s economy ministry declined to comment.

The Air France-KLM group recorded a 7.1 billion euro ($8.38 billion) net loss for last year.

It received 10.4 billion euros in loans and guarantees from France and the Netherlands and has been negotiating a state-backed recapitalisation, with EU regulators seeking airport slot concessions at Paris-Orly and Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Under a plan submitted to Brussels, France would swap a 4 billion euro shareholder loan granted to Air France-KLM last year for hybrid debt or perpetuities, sources have said.

Air France and its unions had baulked at the EU’s demands for slot concessions at Orly.

Slot concessions for KLM had yet to be agreed by the Commission and the Dutch government, Le Monde and fellow French daily Les Echos said.

($1 = 0.8477 euros)

Source: Reuters – Paris