Delta buys 20 percent stake in Latam Airlines for $1.9 billion

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 27 2019 06:56 AM

Passengers wait to check in for their flights at the departure area of Latam airlines inside of the Commodore Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, Chile April 25, 2019. Rodrigo Garrido, Reuters

NEW YORK - Delta will acquire a 20 percent stake in South American carrier Latam Airlines Group for $1.9 billion, the companies announced Thursday.

The venture, described as a "strategic partnership," will add to the networks of both companies, which include Delta's existing partnership with AeroMexico, the companies said in a joint press release.

Under the transaction, Delta will invest $350 million in the partnership, acquire four of Latam's Airbus A350 aircraft and assume the South American company's commitment to purchase 10 more of the planes.

Delta will also have board representation at Latam, the companies said.

"This transformative partnership with Latam will bring together our leading global brands, enabling us to provide the very best service and reliability for travelers to, from and throughout the Americas," said Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian.

"This alliance with Delta strengthens our company and enhances our leadership in Latin America by providing the best connectivity through our highly complementary route networks," said Enrique Cueto Plaza, chief executive at Latam.

New York-listed shares of Latam Airlines Group shot up 22.6 percent to $11.05 in after-hours trading, while Delta was flat.

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