It said late on Sunday it was issuing a convertible bond worth 300
million euros ($415 million), to which its biggest shareholder
Etihad Airways has subscribed, would make an exchange offer to
bondholders with notes due in 2014 and 2015, plus issue new bonds
with a volume of at least 150 million.
In addition, Etihad has agreed to extend a $255 million loan, of
which Air Berlin has so far drawn $135 million, to the end of 2021
from the end of 2016.
Air Berlin, which built up debt after expanding too rapidly, had
said last month it was in advanced talks over options that would
have a substantial impact, sparking speculation over a possible move
by Etihad to gain bigger control over the carrier.
But Air Berlin said on Sunday its recapitalisation would not change
its ownership structure. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad owns 29.2 percent of
Air Berlin while Turkey's Sabanci family own a 12 percent stake. The
European Union is looking into whether Etihad exercises more control
than allowed under the region's rules for airlines with a European
Air Berlin slumped to a 2013 loss before interest and tax (EBIT) of
231.9 million euros, compared with a year-earlier profit of 70.2
million, citing an unexpectedly sluggish summer season due to high
temperatures in central Europe and a difficult winter period.
The airline also named Marco Ciomperlik, currently its chief
maintenance officer, to its management board to oversee its
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Air Berlin in November scrapped its aim of breaking even at the
operating profit level in 2013 and warned it would only come close
to consensus for a 40 million euro EBIT loss if it found additional
sources of income.
Its net loss came to 315.5 million euros, compared with a
year-earlier profit of 6.8 million euros, when it posted its first
profit in five years in 2012 only by selling a majority stake in its
frequent flyer programme to Etihad.
It said it would publish full financial results for 2013 on April
Its net debt rose to 796 million euros from 770.2 million. Its total
equity slumped to a negative 186.1 million euros from a positive
130.2 million in 2012, meaning its liabilities exceeded its assets.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Andrew Roche and Victoria
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