In order to safeguard the public interest of the Netherlands, the Dutch state has become a shareholder of Air France-KLM. The Netherlands considers this move necessary because of the public interest of Schiphol and KLM, Hoekstra said. Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra announced that on Tuesday evening.
The State already holds 12.68% of the shares. That is worth € 680 million. The French state has 14.3%, Hoekstra proposes to buy about 14% of the shares.
We’ll get back to you about all the financial details tomorrow 🙂
Breaking: French hold over Air France KLM, as Dutch govt says it will buy 12.68 percent stake in the troubled airline. Finance minister Hoekstra says aim is to match French state’s stake – @AFP
— Danny Kemp (@dannyctkemp) February 26, 2019
Hoekstra: ‘As a cabinet, we are noticing that more and more decision-making is taking place around Air France and KLM in the holding company. There was therefore too little opportunity for the Netherlands to defend the public interest. ‘ The Netherlands already has an interest of about 6% in KLM, but according to the minister, that is not enough.
KLM and Schiphol
Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Public Works emphasized the importance of Schiphol as a hub at the press conference. That is not possible without KLM. ‘Due to this move and becoming a bigger shareholder, we have greater influence on the group,’ Van Nieuwenhuizen said.
The French state was informed earlier this evening by Hoekstra. The House of Representatives has previously been informed confidentially.
Shareholders who remain in Air France-KLM for two years have double voting rights. This already applies to France. In the coming two years the Netherlands will have as many shares, but less control.
In a letter to parliament, the two members of the government wrote that they ‘made a contribution to a healthy Air France-KLM with a large worldwide network of air connections at Schiphol with KLM as an indispensable Dutch airline.’ According to the letter, the decision was taken on the basis of a long-term project with the Ministries of Finance, Economic Affairs and Climate, Infrastructure and Water Management and General Affairs.
Make KLM Dutch again! Is this new piece of nationalization a good move by the Dutch government? Share your thoughts in the comments!