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UPDATE 1-Swissport gets $170 mln in U.S. help to pay workers hit by COVID crisis

(Adds detail, background.)

ZURICH, July 13 (Reuters) - Aviation services provider Swissport said its North American unit will get $170.4 million under a U.S. Department of Treasury payroll support programme to help keep paying employees in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world’s largest provider of airport ground services and air cargo handling has seen revenue collapse due to the pandemic and is seeking additional liquidity.

Before any funds received under the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, liquidity amounted to approximately 340 million euros ($385 million) at the end of June, the group owned by China’s HNA Group said in a statement on Monday.

Swissport has already received a first CARES Act installment of $85.2 million, is expecting a second payment at the end of July and expects the final one by the end of August.

Of the total, $111.9 million will be in a grant and $58.5 million will come as an unsecured, non-amortizing 10-year promissory note, Swissport said. The funds can only be used to pay wages, salaries and benefits to U.S. Swissport employees.

Swissport also said it was making progress in talks to secure additional funding from lenders and had completed a process in Britain aimed to allow it to change existing financing arrangements with the consent of its senior lenders, including the raising of up to 380 million euros of super senior debt.

$1 = 0.8825 euros Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields

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