labels: British Airways, News reports
BA to get to see Alitalia's rescue plan news
09 September 2008

Intesa Sanpaolo, Italian banking giant that is Alitalia's adviser for the airline's rescue plan will present the plan to British Airways in the coming weeks, media reports say.

Earlier this month, there were reports in the UK media that British Airways was mulling a stake in the Italian airline.

Intesa Sanpaolo's head of corporate market and investment banking Gaetano Micciche was quoted as having said in an interview with Italian national daily newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, "We are going to present the plan also to British Airways."

Air France-KLM were also reported to be looking to buy a minority stake varying between 20 and 25 per cent in beleaguered Italian flag-carrier, as reported by the Dow Jones, citing a report in the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera. The plan has already been presented to Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, the report said. (See: Air France - KLM may seek minority stake in Alitalia)

Alitalia had filed for bankruptcy protection, and the Italian government had appointed law professor and former minister Augusto Fantozzi to restructure the company and sell assets.

Fantozzi is in-charge of liquidating Alitalia's liabilities, along with the $1.8 billion debt that the airline has accumulated over time. Fantozzi is reported to have said that an international partner would be identified by the end of the month.

Recent reports in the UK-media indicated that British Airways was also in talks to buy Brussels Airlines. German flag carrier, Lufthansa, had said at the end of August that it is in "constructive negotiations" with SN Airholding, parent of Brussels Airlines, for 45 per cent equity investment in the Belgian company, and that its offer also includes an option to eventually take over the carrier fully. (See: Lufthansa in talks for equity stake in Brussels Airlines)

If the UK reports are to be believed, the move could lead Sir Richard Branson, who owns 30 per cent of the Belgian airline, selling out to his rival, though it would be logical to assume that he would prefer to go with Lufthansa. According to The Times, British Airways is still mulling whether or not to make a formal offer, with Brussels Airlines being valued at around $220.7 million.

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BA to get to see Alitalia's rescue plan