(Boursier.com) — Penalized by the forthcoming launch of a capital increase of 2.256 billion euros, Air France-KLM plunged this Tuesday by more than 20% to 3.45 euros at the close. This operation, with shareholders’ preferential subscription rights, will consist of the issue of 1,928 million new shares at the rate of 3 new shares for 1 existing share at a unit price of 1.17 euro.
The French and Dutch States, which respectively own 28.6% and 9.3% of the group’s capital, will subscribe to this operation in order to maintain their participation at its current level. The maritime transport company CMA CGM will participate to the tune of 400 million euros, as announced last week during the presentation of its alliance with Air France-KLM. China Eastern Airlines (owner of 9.6% of the capital) and Delta Air Lines (5.8%) will also subscribe but will see their participation diluted because they will only invest the proceeds of the sale of subscription rights sold to CMA CGM .
The net proceeds of the issue will be allocated to the repayment of the super subordinated securities issued in April 2021 and held by the French State and to the strengthening of the company’s equity. “The operation we are launching today materializes the work we have been carrying out for several months to consolidate our balance sheet and strengthen our financial autonomy. It will also contribute to allowing the company to regain its strategic leeway”said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM.
The group, which has recorded more than 10 billion euros in net losses over the past two years, only returned to profit in the third quarter of last year and at the end of March it posted a net debt of 7, 66 billion euros. He explained in February that he planned to raise up to four billion euros to repay state aid.
For Goodbody, this announcement was “a highly anticipated event” for the company, and if “the dilution is important, it is a necessary step to strengthen the group’s equity”.