US bidders spell out terms for Alitalia offer

23rd Jul 2007

TPG and MatlinPatterson - the U.S. private equity consortium - still want to acquire Alitalia will consider a new bid only if the Italian government relaxes its conditions for a sale, The Times newspaper reports Monday. Ministers in Rome will consider last-ditch efforts this week to prevent the liquidation of Alitalia after the decision by Air One SpA, the independent Italian carrier, to pull out of bid talks.

TPG and MatlinPatterson want permission to negotiate with the unions on staffing before initiating an offer, the Times reports without citing sources.

Bidders had been given a deadline of Monday to submit final offers, but the sale collapsed last week when Air One, the only remaining bidder, walked away.

The airline is pushing ahead with its own restructuring plan in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy. It loses more than EUR1 million a day.

The last three potential buyers for the 49.9% share in the carrier - Air One, Aeroflot (AFLT.RS), of Russia, and TPG-MatlinPatterson - apparently threw in the towel because of the stringent conditions for the sale laid down by the Treasury, which is the airline’s controlling shareholder.



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