Alitalia bidder complains about lack of info

The owner of the Italian airline Air One has complained about the lack of information regarding the privatisation of the troubled peer Alitalia and risks being barred from making an offer, the daily Il Sole 24 Ore said. According to the daily, Carlo Toto, Air One’s owner, sent a letter on Tuesday to Merrill Lynch, the advisor of the economy ministry which is seeking to sell a 39.9 pct stake in Alitalia, to complain about the lack of information regarding the company’s financial situation.

Toto, whose group was short listed to bid for Alitalia, reckons that the data is insufficient to draft a business plan to re-launch the airline, the daily added.

The letter annoyed the ministry because a copy was sent to the transport minister Alessandro Bianchi, it said.

The privatisation process prohibits companies short listed to bid for Alitalia to have contact with members of the team working on the privatisation—which includes advisors, as well as some staff of the economy ministry and Alitalia—and Toto could have breached the rule by sending a copy of the letter to Bianchi, thus risking being barred, the newspaper added.

Toto is considered as the front runner to take over Alitalia,the daily said, adding that the businessman has wide-ranging political support.


The other consortium bidding for Alitalia is formed by the Russian airline Aeroflot and the Italian bank Unicredito Italiano SpA.

If Toto were barred, the privatisation could capsize, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.