No deal reached for Certares/ITA Airways as deadline passes

Italy’s Economy Ministry said on Monday it would not renew an exclusivity period for talks with U.S. private equity fund Certares, Air France-KLM and Delta for the sale of ITA Airways, the nationalised successor airline to Alitalia.

“Exclusivity obligations granted on Aug. 31 ... end today,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that contacts would continue over “a possible sale agreement” with the potential buyers.

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The consortium beat a rival bid presented by shipping group MSC and Germany’s Lufthansa for the chance to buy control of Alitalia’s successor.

Certares has been discussing taking a majority stake, while Air France-KLM and Delta would initially be only commercial and operational partners.

The deal has been complicated by a national election in Italy that resulted in the formation of a new right-wing government that was sworn into office earlier in October.

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The board of ITA Airways this month also stripped Executive Chairman Alfredo Altavilla of his powers, giving Chief Executive Fabio Lazzerini the task of negotiating the sale. read more

Source: Reuters

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