Italy govt favours sale of Alitalia to Air One

Most members of the Italian government favour the sale of a controlling stake in the troubled flag carrier Alitalia SpA to AP Holding, which controls the airline Air One, the daily Finanza & Mercati said without giving a source. The daily added that the government is studying the possibility of not compelling AP Holding to launch a bid to buy out minority shareholders in the airline, if it were to buy the 39.9 pct stake in Alitalia the government has put up for sale.

Under Italian law, a company buying more than 30 pct in a listed company has to make an offer to buy out minorities. However, the rule can be waived in the case of troubled companies.

The move would help AP Holding find the financing to carry out the operation, it said, especially as foreign banks and the Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA have not yet given their support to fund the takeover.

Separately, the daily Il Sole 24 Ore said Air One’s bankers are having difficulties raising the 1.5-2.0 bln eur in funding that it needs.