The ALITALIA Board of Directors met today and, exercising the mandate conferred on it by the Shareholderså’ Meeting on May 28, 2002, decided to increase the Company capital by 66,600,000.00 euros through the issue of 180,000,000 ordinary shares with a nominal value of 0.37 euros each, to be offered by subscription to all employees (on the payroll at September 30, 2002) of ALITALIA and the controlled companies Alitalia Airport S.p.A. and ATITECH S.p.A, by means of granting them said subscription entitlement (å“Warrantå”).
The Warrants are nominative and non-transferable inter vivos, and can be exercised from January 1, 2005, until December 31, 2006, by underwriting ALITALIA ordinary shares, with regular earnings, at the cost of 0.37 euros per share, on the basis of one share for every Warrant held.
In addition, the Board approved the sale operation, to the CIT Group, of 80% of the capital of the controlled company Italiatour for the sum of 9.2 million euros, within a framework of negotiations that safeguard employment levels in the company.
Finally, the Board examined the problems relating to flight operations at the airport of Catania Fontanarossa.
On this subject, the Board confirmed that Alitalia has not abandoned Catania but only temporarily suspended operations at that airport (in spite of the costs incurred) - operations that normally involve no less than 300 flights a week, by day and by night, many of them linking up with the international network based on Fiumicino and Malpensa; the Board stressed that the decision to suspend operations was taken in order to ensure its customers:
- maximum standards of safety and security, as is always the Company’s policy;
- regularity and reliability of scheduling so that customers can plan and carry out their journeys with the relative certainty of leaving/arriving at their destination in good time.
Unfortunately, this has not been possible in Catania in recent days, as shown by the continual opening and closing of the airport.
Against this background, Alitalia is encouraged by the Government’s undertaking in the last few hours to accept the Company’s request for strengthening the Crisis Unit structures which are overseeing the situation, and therefore the Company will gradually resume operations, clearly making sure that all of the above conditions are met.