LATAM Airlines seeks to raise $294 mln in sale of leftover shares

Reuters

SANTIAGO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Regional carrier LATAM Airlines on Friday will seek to raise at least $294 million by selling shares that weren't snapped up in a recent offering intended to increase capital.

The company, Latin America's largest airline, will offer 10.3 million shares at a minimum of $15.17 each, it told the Santiago stock exchange.

LATAM, the fruit of Chilean airline LAN's 2012 takeover of Brazil's TAM, took in roughly $784 million in a preferential capital increase period that wrapped up in December.

The amount fell short of the $1 billion the company is seeking to raise to bolster its finances and achieve the margins it enjoyed before the merger.

The incomplete sale of the stock was largely caused by Brazilian group Amaro's decision not to exercise its right to buy 8.4 million shares.

Weakness in the Brazil has hurt LATAM's operating margins, but third quarter results suggest the carrier is turning the corner.

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