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Italy extends deadline for ITA Airways takeover talks, sources say

Italy extends deadline for ITA Airways takeover talks, sources say
Italy extends deadline for ITA Airways takeover talks, sources say   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">MILAN</span> – Italy has extended to Oct. 31 the deadline for exclusive talks with a consortium led by U.S. private equity fund Certares over a majority stake in <span class="caps">ITA</span> Airways, two sources close to the matter said on Friday.</p> <p>The talks were initially meant to expire on Sept. 30. </p> <p>Certares, backed by Air France-<span class="caps">KLM</span> and Delta Air Lines Inc, is willing to pay 350 million euros ($344 million) for a 50% stake plus one share of the state-controlled airline, the sources said. </p> <p>The offer also envisages a capital increase of about 600 million euros, which would be launched some time after the closing of the deal, though exact timing has yet to be set, the sources added.</p> <p>Delta Air Lines and Air France-<span class="caps">KLM</span> plan to become commercial partners of <span class="caps">ITA</span>, the successor company to Alitalia, but do not intend to take a stake in the carrier at this stage, they said in August. </p> <p>The Certares-led consortium was picked by Italy’s outgoing government over a rival offer from shipping group <span class="caps">MSC</span> and Germany’s Lufthansa.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>The new government is expected to take office in mid-October.</p> <p>($1 = 1.0188 euros)</p> <p/> </div>