INTERNATIONAL: Gavin Anderson hired for Air France flotation

PARIS: Air France, the State-controlled French airline, has appointed Gavin Anderson to handle communications for its partial privatisation later this year.

PARIS: Air France, the State-controlled French airline, has

appointed Gavin Anderson to handle communications for its partial

privatisation later this year.



The French government had initially planned to float a 20 per cent stake

in the airline in June or July but it is thought that the most likely

date for the sale is now in September because of the current series of

air strikes in France.



An issue which may delay the flotation is negotiations with Air France

pilots for a 15 per cent pay cut in exchange for shares in the

company.



Gavin Anderson will work jointly for the French government and for the

Air France company itself, which has just installed Jean-Cyril Spinetta

as its new chairman. The Air France team will be led from Gavin

Anderson’s Paris office by its French president and chief executive John

Moore.



The French government is seeking to raise over pounds 300 million from

the offering to contribute toward planned investments in new aircraft

over the next five years. It is thought that after further distributions

of shares next year, the French government will be left with around 53

per cent of Air France, compared to the 95 per cent it currently owns.

French finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn has stated that there are

no plans to fully privatise the airline.



Air France made a profit of almost pounds 200 million last year but the

current industrial action is believed to have cost some pounds 30

million.



- Gavin Anderson has been appointed by Luxembourg-based company SES,

which owns the Astra television satellites, to handle its PR ahead of a

possible flotation.



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