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SkyEurope receives Bank of Scotland financing for four planes

SkyEurope Holding AG, the owner of a Slovakian low-cost carrier that has lost two-thirds of its market value in the past three months, said it reached an agreement on borrowing money to buy new Boeing Co. planes. Bank of Scotland has provided a long-term loan facility to SkyEurope Airlines for a purchase of four new Boeing 737-700 aircraft, the Bratislava-based carrier said in an e-mailed statement. SkyEurope, the largest low-cost carrier in eastern Europe, hired UBS AG and CA-IB last month to help find financing to buy single-aisle 737-700s. CEO Christian Mandl said July 12 the airline may postpone the sale of 20 million new shares after the stock's value dropped. The airline is „confident that our investors will benefit from the financial advantages of this loan facility” over other funding options the carrier was considering, Chairman Alain Skowronek said in the statement. The agreement „provides us with committed financing to cover all four of our 2007 deliveries.” The carrier postponed releasing quarterly earnings by nine days, to Aug. 31, because of preparations for the possible capital increase. The company still plans to sell additional stock, Andrea Hofer, SkyEurope's investor-relations head, in a phone interview, without giving a timeframe. (Bloomberg)