Italy govt looks to boost Alitalia capital

Italy’s government is considering a one billion euro capital increase for Alitalia that will be underwritten by a new partner, the daily Finanza & Mercati reported, without citing sources. The idea of a capital increase could be discussed at today’s Alitalia board meeting, the paper added.

According to F&M, fresh capital would help limit the number of redundancies at the airline to around 2,400 rather than the 5,000 jobs that are at risk when Alitalia’s liquidity runs out in February next year.

The Italian government cannot underwrite any capital increase since under European Union law that would constitute state aid.

The alternative to a capital increase is the appointment of a special administrator who would restructure Alitalia, F&M said.

Under Italian law, the appointment of an administrator must wait till the company is declared bankrupt.

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In the case of Alitalia that would be February when its cash runs out, F&M said.

The attempt by the Italian government to sell a stake in Alitalia of at least 39 pct by auction process recently fell through for want of bidders.
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