31 JULY 2017


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Article from BTNews 31 JULY 2017

Alitalia bidders line up

Ryanair and Etihad are among “around ten” companies that have made offers for a total or partial takeover of Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia, according to Italian media reports last week.

Etihad, which already has a 49% stake in Alitalia, qualified its bid saying that is not legally-binding, meaning Etihad might not acquire any additional holding after a deal is finalised.

An Etihad source was quoted as saying Alitalia’s administration was expected to contact bidders to discuss the offers further, but did not say when that might happen.

Alitalia, which has struggled to compete with low-cost rivals including Ryanair, went into administration at the start of May, moving the airline a step closer to liquidation as efforts continue to find a buyer.

About 18 companies expressing an interest in a potential purchase had reportedly been given access to the company’s figures. They were said to include Delta Air Lines, British Airways, Lufthansa, and easyJet as well as Ryanair.

Those interested in making binding offers have until October. Italy’s government said in May it would provide a bridging loan to keep Alitalia aircraft flying for around six months.

If no buyer can be found, Alitalia faces the potential loss of 20,000 jobs at the company and among suppliers.


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