Alitalia delays divestment decision once again
19 December 2007
Rome: The Alitalia board has once again delayed a decision on its preferred bidder between top contenders Air France-KLM and smaller domestic rival Air One, turning the sale of Italy's struggling state-controlled carrier Alitalia, into a story without an end.
Alitalia said its board would meet again on Friday to pick a sole bidder. The meeting had completed a review of non-binding bids at its meeting but was now awaiting final recommendations from its advisor.
Friction within the Italian government, which controls Alitalia with a 49.9 per cent stake, has already caused Alitalia to postpone a decision last week.
Meanwhile, Air France-KLM, the world's largest airline by revenue, said it plans an injection of $1.10 billion for Alitalia through a capital increase open to all shareholders.
The Franco-Dutch carrier said on Monday it aimed to purchase 100 percent of Alitalia stock through an exchange offer and all of Alitalia's convertible bonds, which are more than $1.10 billion.
AP Holding, which owns Italian carrier Air One, said that with the backing of four banks, led by Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo, it planned a $1.46 billion capital increase for Alitalia.