LATAM Airlines raises $156 mln in sale of leftover shares

SANTIAGO Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:11am EST

SANTIAGO Jan 10 (Reuters) - Regional carrier LATAM Airlines on Friday raised $156 million by selling shares that were not snapped up in a recent offering intended to increase capital.

The company, the fruit of Chilean airline LAN's 2012 takeover of Brazil's TAM, offered 10.3 million shares in a local auction.

That means LATAM has raked in a total of $940 million to help finance its investment plan.

LATAM had had a preferential capital increase period that wrapped up in December that took in roughly $784 million, but this amount fell short of the roughly $1 billion the company was seeking to raise.

The region's largest carrier is seeking to bolster its finances and achieve the margins it enjoyed before the merger.

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

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