White & Case Advises Air France-KLM on Acquisition of Equity Stakes by China Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines

Press Release
1 min read

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Air France-KLM on the acquisition of ten percent equity stakes in its share capital by China Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

The transactions strengthen Air France-KLM's strategic partnerships in the North American, European and Asian markets, and have been completed through reserved capital increases for a total amount of €751 million. The transactions were approved at a shareholders' meeting on September 4, 2017 and were completed on October 3, 2017. The strategic, commercial and capital reinforcement of these partnerships will position Air France-KLM as the European pillar of the leading global airline network.

China Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines will both have a representative on the board of directors of Air France-KLM.

The related subscription agreements signed by China Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines have a 25-year duration and include a lock-up commitment by the partners for the related shares and standstill provisions for a five-year duration. The parties have also committed not to sell their stakes to another airline without the prior consent of the Air France-KLM Board of Directors.

The share capital increases will reinforce Air France-KLM's financial structure, accelerate its deleveraging and finance the acquisition of a 31 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

The White & Case team in Paris which advised on the transaction was led by partners Thomas Le Vert and Séverin Robillard with support from associates Boris Kreiss, Tatiana Uskova and Alice Chavaillard. Counsel Max Turner advised on matters of US law and partner Alexandre Ippolito, with support from associate Charline Schmit, advised on tax aspects.

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