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Creditors call on Korean Air to raise capital following financial aid

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Creditors of Korean Air Lines Co. have demanded the cash-strapped airline raise capital of 2 trillion won ($1.62 billion) by end of the next year in return for fresh financial support, officials familiar with the issue said Thursday.

The Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Exim Bank) recently signed an agreement with South Korea's biggest national flag carrier to extend 1.2 trillion won in new liquidity to help the company hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The state lenders will provide 200 billion won in loans, buy asset-backed securities worth 700 billion won and purchase 300 billion worth of perpetual bonds.

The KDB will shoulder 60 percent of the financial aid, with Exim Bank responsible for the remainder.

"The deal includes a clause requesting Korean Air to secure 2 trillion won by the end of next year," a creditor bank official said. "The airline is required to raise 1 trillion won through a rights offering and another 1 trillion won through self-rescue measures."

Last week, Korean Air said it will push to carry out a share sale worth 1 trillion won and is seeking to sell assets, including a prime lot of land in central Seoul, as part of its self-help plan.

Hanjin KAL Corp., Korean Air's holding company, said it will purchase the new Korean Air common shares worth 300 billion won to help the air carrier withstand its liquidity crunch.

The move comes as 4 trillion won of the airline's debt is set to mature this year.

Korean Air said it will be able to pay back the maturing debt with the creditors' financial aid and money raised through self-help measures.

Industry officials said the KDB and Exim Bank will emerge as the second-largest shareholder of Korean Air, with a 16.37 percent interest, after purchasing the carrier's perpetual bonds to be issued.

Currently, Hanjin KAL is the No. 1 shareholder with a 29.96 percent stake in Korean Air. The state pension operator National Pension Service owns 9.98 percent. (Yonhap)
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