Air France acquires KLM

4th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

4 May 2004 , PARIS, May 4 (AFP) - Air France and KLM announced Tuesday that Air France has been successful in acquiring the Dutch airline, with 89.22 percent of KLM shareholders offering their holdings and thereby creating the biggest European airline.

4 May 2004

PARIS, May 4 (AFP) - Air France and KLM announced Tuesday that Air France has been successful in acquiring the Dutch airline, with 89.22 percent of KLM shareholders offering their holdings and thereby creating the biggest European airline.

Air France nonetheless extended its all-share offer to May 21 in a operation that also makes Air France-KLM the third-biggest carrier worldwide in terms of sales.

The takeover has the effect of reducing the French state's stake from 54 percent of Air France to 44.7 percent of Air France-KLM, a de facto privatisation of the French airline, the statement said.

Under terms of the exchange offer valid from April 5 to May 3, Air France had to acquire more than 70 percent of outstanding KLM shares, in a deal worth about EUR 850 million (USD 1 billion).

Trading in the new company is to begin Wednesday on the Amsterdam and Paris stock exchanges.

Air France will issue 45,938,857 new shares and 41,762,597 warrants, including 8,479,306 American Depositary Shares (ADS) and 7,708,460 American Depositary Warrants (ADW).

The warrants and the ADWs have a maturity of three and a half years from May 6, 2004 and can be exercised starting November 6, 2005.ADWs are instruments which are tradeable in the United States.

On the basis of the issue of new shares, the French state will hold 44.7 percent of the new group, with Air France employees holding 10.5 percent and a public float of 44.8 percent, of which 17.3 percent will be former KLM shareholders.

© AFP

                                               Subject: French news

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