Alitalia officially up for sale

The Italian Economy Ministry on Friday offically invited bids for the acquisition of financially troubled flag carrier Alitalia, giving interested parties until January 29 to put forward their offers. According to the Agence France Press news wire, the appeal, appearing on the ministry website, said the buyer would have to bid for a stake of between 30.1 and 49.9 percent of the airline.

The Italian state, which currently owns 49.9 percent of Alitalia, intends to sell at least 30.1 percent, with the stipulation that the buyer or buyers bid for the whole company.

The ministry said buyers would have to maintain a controlling stake in Alitalia until the airline completed its recovery plan.