Air Canada raises $1.6B to offset losses as coronavirus lockdown slashes sales

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Air Canada has raised $1.59 billion from share and debt offerings intended to offset some of the carrier’s losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said Tuesday it sold 35.4 million voting shares at $16.25 apiece for gross proceeds of $575.6 million.

READ MORE: Air Canada gives customers more options for cancelled flights amid coronavirus pandemic

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It also issued $1.02 billion in convertible senior unsecured notes due in 2025, well above its initial plan for about $540 million.

The financing proceeds help to bolster Air Canada’s liquidity after confinement measures and border shutdowns “destroyed demand and depleted cash,” chief financial officer Michael Rousseau said in a release.

Despite more than $1 billion in losses in the first quarter, a positive reaction from the public markets amounted to “a strong endorsement” of the airline’s strength, he said.

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3:56Coronavirus outbreak: Garneau says airlines facing ‘very tough times’ as customers hope for refunds

Coronavirus outbreak: Garneau says airlines facing ‘very tough times’ as customers hope for refunds

The underwriters exercised their over-allotment option to buy 15 per cent of the shares on offer,

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