Friday, September 24, 2004

BUSINESS: Struggling Swiss Airline Secures Loan

BASEL, Switzerland - Switzerland's struggling national airline Friday announced it had agreed to a 325 million Swiss franc ($258 million) loan from an international banking syndicate.

The deal still needs the consent of unnamed "third parties" before it can be finalized and the company can draw on the credit, Swiss International Air lines said.

Talks were steered by Halifax Bank of Scotland and Barclays Capital, the airline said.

Under the deal, Halifax Bank of Scotland is set to provide 100 million francs and Barclays Capital 55 million francs.

Credit Suisse and UBS will provide 75 million francs each, while the Zurich Cantonal Bank's contribution is set at 20 million francs. All three Swiss-based banks are major shareholders in the airline.

Swiss has suffered massive financial problems since it was created out of the defunct Swissair in March 2002.

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