France to become the biggest Air France shareholder with a capital hike


April 7, 2021:-France will contribute up to 4 billion euros to a recapitalization of Air France-KLM and above double its 14.3% stake in the airline group, announced on Tuesday with European Union approval.

The French government will convert a 3-billion-euro loan extended to the group last year into a hybrid instrument and commit up to 1 billion euros to a planned share issue, increasing its stake in Air France-KLM to nearly 30%.

“This will make the state Air France’s biggest shareholder,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said, calling the move a “sign of commitment” to the airline and its jobs of French.

Under the deal with Brussels, it will give up 18 take-off and landing slots at Paris-Orly, amounting to 4% of its current portfolio at the airport.

However, their reallocation to competitors will be limited to aircraft based at the airport with crews employed on local contracts under the terms negotiated by French.

“It was one of the sticking points of the talks,” Le Maire said

The Dutch state has not planned to take part in the capital increase, Air France-KLM also said, and is likely to have its 14% holding diluted by the share issue.

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