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Italy Extends Deadline For ITA Airways Takeover Talks, Sources Say

By Dave Simpson

Italy has extended to 31 October the deadline for exclusive talks with a consortium led by US private equity fund Certares over a majority stake in ITA Airways, two sources close to the matter have said.

Details

The talks were initially meant to expire on 30 September.

Certares, backed by Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines Inc, is willing to pay €350 million for a 50% stake plus one share of the state-controlled airline, the sources said.

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The offer also envisages a capital increase of about €600 million, which would be launched some time after the closing of the deal, though exact timing has yet to be set, the sources added.

Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM plan to become commercial partners of ITA, the successor company to Alitalia, but do not intend to take a stake in the carrier at this stage, they said in August.

The Certares-led consortium was picked by Italy's outgoing government over a rival offer from shipping group MSC and Germany's Lufthansa.

But Giorgia Meloni, the Brothers of Italy party leader who is widely expected to be named prime minister after this month's election victory, has said it is important to keep a flag carrier. She has also asked the outgoing administration to put the sale on hold.

Expected New Government Office Take Date

The new government is expected to take office in mid-October.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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