Air France-KLM has started its exclusive talks as preferred bidder for Alitalia. It has been given a deadline of eight weeks for the discussions by Italian treasury minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa.
Air France-KLM’s chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta met Alitalia’s head Maurizio Prato in Rome. Spinetta then held talks Alitalia’s trade union representative.
If a deal is reached the shareholding in the new combined airline would have 67.7% in the market, the French government would hold 17.8%, Alitalia’s workers would have 11.5% and the Italian government 3%. But one of the unions involved in the talks said it is possible that the Italian state could end up with a 5% stake as part of
a share-swap deal.
The government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi currently holds 49.9% of the near-bankrupt Italian flag carrier which is predicting a loss this year of 400 million euros.