Press: Italy mulls extending Alitalia bids

Italy’s Treasury is considering extending the deadline for bids for its controlling stake in struggling airline Alitalia beyond July 12 to give potential bidders more time to secure financing for the troubled privatization, Il Sole 24 Ore reports, without citing sources. The deadline has already been extended twice.

Earlier this week the paper said banks lending financial backing to privately held Italian carrier Air One in its bid for Alitalia are balking at providing the 1.5 - 2 billion euros Air One is seeking.

The paper says the Treasury is already mapping out contingency plans should the privatization plan fail. It says Alitalia could be placed into liquidation and run by a government-appointed administrator with a brief to implement an emergency restructuring plan, and says Parmalat SpA (PLT.MI) Chief Executive Enrico Bondi is one candidate for such a post.