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By Maria Chutchian
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Aeromexico on Friday won court approval of its restructuring plan after the airline struck a deal with the remaining holdouts among its creditors, clearing the way for it to emerge from bankruptcy with new controlling shareholders.
"I could not be more pleased to tell you the plan of reorganization is confirmed," U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman said soon after the agreement to pay a settlement to the creditors was announced during a court hearing.
Her approval of the plan allows Aeromexico, one of three major Latin American airlines to seek court protection from creditors during the pandemic, to complete the bankruptcy process, which has been ongoing since June 2020.
Aeromexico shares were up 17% on Friday, although those gains did not appear to reflect the creditor deal and final approval, which came as the market was about to close.
The plan provides for new infusions of capital into Aeromexico. Apollo Global Management, a frequent investor in distressed companies, will be the largest shareholder. Delta Air Lines Inc, an existing equity holder, is expected to have a 20% stake in the company once the plan is implemented.
The deals struck on Friday brought in support from a group of junior creditors who had opposed what they argued was overly beneficial treatment for Delta and four Mexican individual investors.
To resolve remaining issues with its most vocal plan opponent, Invictus Global Management, Aeromexico agreed to pay $1.1 million in cash. The airline also said it would provide a group of junior creditors $800,000 to cover legal fees.
Timothy Graulich of Davis Polk & Wardwell, who represents Aeromexico, said during Friday's hearing before Chapman that the company was "truly grateful" for the successful outcome.
"When we filed, we were literally almost out of money," he said.
The settlement came a day after Aeromexico announced another deal with the official committee representing unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy.
(Reporting by Maria Chutchian; Editing by Christian Plumb and Mark Porter)