July 16, 2020 / 6:11 PM / 18 days ago

French public lender takes stake in travel firm Voyageurs

PARIS (Reuters) - French public investment bank Bpifrance has taken a stake in the holding company that controls Voyageurs du Monde (ALVDM.PA), a high-end travel firm that has been hit by a wave of cancellations in the COVID-19 epidemic.

The travel firm, in a statement on the deal, did not disclose the size of the stake that Bpifrance had taken, nor how much it paid. It said management maintained its controlling stake after the deal.

The stake was acquired as part of a capital-raising exercise, in which existing shareholders also took part, that raised 16 million euros ($18.2 million).

The capital-raising valued the travel firm’s shares at 85 euros each, the statement said. Voyageurs de Monde’s shares were trading on the Paris bourse on Thursday at around 68 euros.

Voyageurs de Monde said in its statement it had a robust financial structure that allowed it to withstand the coronavirus crisis. For 2019, it reported full-year revenue of 488 million euros and EBITDA (core earnings) of 33.6 million euros.

Bpifrance has played a major role in helping shore up the capital of French listed companies that have been struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Mark Potter

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