The French state could call on the banks to contribute to the Air France rescue plan
PARIS (Reuters) – The French government could ask banks to contribute to Air France KLM’s bailout if it offers state support to the ailing airline, the finance minister said on Thursday.
The government has allocated 20 billion euros ($ 21.7 billion) to recapitalize – or nationalize if necessary – large French companies that cannot survive the coronavirus crisis on their own and has indicated that Air France is on the front line. .
“You say that Air France (needs) 7 billion euros, one can very well imagine that the effort will be shared between the State and the banks”, declared the Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire on BFM TV.
“Nothing says that the State must provide capital to Air France on its own,” he added.
Sources previously told Reuters that Air France KLM is in talks with banks to receive up to 6 billion euros ($ 6.5 billion) in state-guaranteed bank loans.
The French site La Tribune has since reported that the group was looking for up to 10 billion euros, and nearly 8 billion specifically for Air France.
The € 20 billion in state bailout funds are part of a larger package of € 110 billion of economic rescue measures, which also includes tax and social security deferrals and funding for social security contributions. state subsidized leave.
The government also offers state guarantees of up to 90% on business loans from commercial banks with a total value of 300 billion euros. Guarantees are capped at 70% and 80% of the loan value for large groups under the program.
The Mayor said that this rescue plan also included 1 billion euros which could be loaned directly by the state to the most fragile companies which cannot obtain bank loans and on condition that they agree to restructure.
Meanwhile, Le Maire said he had asked landlords to waive three months’ rent for businesses with less than 10 employees and said larger companies should look to negotiate similar deals with their landlords.
Reporting by Leigh Thomas; edited by Grant McCool