EU: Dutch government takes stake in Air France-KLM

The Dutch government has increased the state’s stake in airline Air France-KLM to 14% as planned, in line with the shareholding owned by Paris, the Finance Ministry confirmed.

The holding company’s share price fell almost 12% after Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced on Tuesday evening, February 26, that the Netherlands was acting to exert more influence on the company and had bought an initial 12.7% stake for €680 million (US$773.9 million).

The aim, Hoekstra said, is to better guarantee Dutch public interests. “The position of Schiphol and KLM are of great importance to the Dutch economy and employment,” he said. “It involves thousands of direct and indirect jobs.”

France has been irritated by the Dutch move which was kept secret from both the airline’s board and the French government. Hoekstra is heading to Paris on Friday to explain the Dutch reasoning.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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