Air France-KLM raises more than 2 billion euros from rights issue

Cash-strapped French-Dutch airline, Air France-KLM, said Tuesday it raised some 2.26 billion euros ($2.4 billion) from a new capital increase announced last month, which will mostly be used to pay back state aid.
The carrier said in a statement that demand for the new shares issued in the so-called rights issue — where existing shareholders have preferential subscription rights — amounted to 2.6 billion euros, outstripping the number of shares on offer.
“The success of our capital increase is a strong demonstration of the confidence that our existing shareholders and new investors have in the prospects of Air France-KLM,” said chief executive, Benjamin Smith.
“This operation… will allow us to emerge with a stronger balance sheet and increased strategic flexibility”.
Air France-KLM has lost some 11 billion euros over the past two years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The French and Dutch governments participated fully in the capital increase, meaning their shareholdings of 28.6 percent and 9.3 percent respectively would remain unchanged.
Shipping giant CMA CGM, based in Marseille, became the next-biggest shareholder with a stake of 9.0 percent.
Two other shareholders — China Eastern Airlines and Delta Airlines — saw their stakes reduced to 4.7 percent and 2.9 percent respectively. (AFP)

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