Etihad In Final Phase Of Talks With Alitalia Over Possible Investment

Etihad Airways and Alitalia are in the final phase of a due diligence process that may see an investment by the Gulf carrier, both have said in a joint statement. Etihad has been planning an investment in Alitalia for weeks, reportedly a 40 per cent stake in Alitalia for around €300m ($405m). James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad, and Gabriele Del Torchio, CEO of Alitalia, confirmed the news. The statement from both says that during the next 30 days both companies and their advisors will determine how a common strategy can be developed. “Any issues that may prevent the establishment of an appropriate business plan will have to be resolved to ensure the plan can be implemented to move Alitalia to sustainable profitability,” the statement adds. Last October, loss-making Alitalia approved plans for a €300m ($405m) capital increase, as part of a strategy to prevent bankruptcy. A partnership with the Gulf carrier could boost the Italian airline’s liquidity, allowing it to invest in a new strategy focused on long-haul routes to make it profitable again.

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