British Airways raises $1 bn to avert cash crisis

British Airways raises $1 bn to avert cash crisis
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Fri, Jul 17 2009. 12 54 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Jul 17 2009. 12 54 PM IST
London: British Airways, unveiled plans to raise about £600 million ($1 billion) through a combination of bondholder debt and bank credit, when it reported a first-quarter loss of £100 million.
Its shares were up 2.5% at 135.4 pence at 0720 GMT.
On Tuesday, chairman Martin Broughton had said BA was considering a convertible bond, not a rights issue, to shore up a balance sheet ravaged by the global aviation sector downturn.
BA said on Friday it planned to raise £300 million by issuing five-year bonds convertible into 15-20% of its shares.
It also said it had also negotiated a release of bank guarantees with its British pension fund trustees which would give it access to up to $540 million of bank facilities.
Chief executive Willie Walsh told reporters the moves eliminated any short-term threat of a financial crisis at the airline. “This puts to bed the suggestions British Airways is in any sort of risk in the short term.
“We are one of the strongest airlines in terms of cash. Our trading position is difficult, but we have taken action ahead of competitors,” he said
BA also reported an operating loss of £100 million for the three months ending 30 June, on revenues of 1.98 billion.
Airlines around the world have been suffering from what many consider the worst conditions ever due to falling passenger numbers in the face of global economic turmoil, and traditional carriers have faced intense competition from budget operators.
BA stock has lost nearly 70% of its value in the past year.
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Fri, Jul 17 2009. 12 54 PM IST