LATAM Airlines Group S.A., Latin America’s leading airline group, and world-class airline Qatar Airways, both members of the oneworld alliance, announced they have entered into a subscription agreement providing for Qatar Airways to acquire up to 10 per cent of LATAM’s total shares, which will be acquired in connection with a capital increase.
As provided for in the subscription agreement, LATAM Airlines Group will hold an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting no later than 2 September, 2016 to propose a capital increase in the amount of US$613 million through the issuance of new shares at a price of US$10 per share.
The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Air Show in England, by both airlines’ CEOs: Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways and Enrique Cueto, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.
“We are proud to announce Qatar Airways as a new shareholder of LATAM, reaffirming our bond as existing members of the oneworld alliance. This investment recognises LATAM’s achievements and supports our project for the future. In addition to strengthening our financial position, it will allow us to explore new opportunities for connectivity with Asia and the Middle East, as well as other potential areas of cooperation”, said Enrique Cueto, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.
“LATAM represents an exciting opportunity to invest and support the development of our long-term relationship. As a leading airline in Latin America, and key member of oneworld, this investment provides potential opportunities for Qatar Airways’ global network, alongside our successful investment in IAG,” said His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways.
The companies expect the transaction to be completed within the fourth quarter of 2016. Qatar Airways was advised by HSBC Bank plc, Weil, Gotshall & Manges LLP and Carey whilst LATAM Airlines Group S.A. was advised by JP Morgan, Claro & Cía y Sullivan & Cromwell.
Skytrax World Airline Awards
Further to this announcement at the Farnborough International Airshow, LAN Airlines (now LATAM Airlines), a member of LATAM Airlines Group, was also named the ‘Best Airline in South America’ in the Skytrax World Airline Awards.
The awards are organised each year by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax Research, and are based on the world’s largest airline passenger satisfaction survey, which in 2016 involved the evaluation of 280 airlines by more than 19 million passengers representing 104 different nationalities.
On receiving the award, José Maluf, Vice President of Fleet, LATAM Airlines Group, said: “It is a great honour to be recognised once again as the ‘Best Airline in South America’. The World Airline Awards are based on the opinions of passengers from across the globe and are an important way of gauging the products and services that our customers value the most.”
LAN has now been named the ‘Best Airline in South America’ for four successive years and either LAN or TAM – both members of LATAM Airlines Group – has held this accolade consecutively since 2000.