Lufthansa favourite to take over Alitalia

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The German airline Lufthansa is the favourite for the takeover of the troubled Italian flagship carrier Alitalia, the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera announced Thursday.

As for the future of Alitalia, the destination seems to be Germany,” writes the leading Italian daily, although “the numbers are not final yet and the proposal can be improved“.

The Corriere della Sera, which does not quote its sources, says that Lufthansa would like to take over only the “flights” part of Alitalia, without the maintenance, and keep only 6,000 of the 8,000 people employed in that division.

The two Italian ministers who follow this dossier and the three commissioners who manage Alitalia since it was placed under receivership, however, asked Lufthansa to halve this figure of 2,000 redundancies requested in the “flights” division. “Negotiations are underway and the two sides are getting closer,” says the newspaper, noting that the price proposed by Lufthansa is also problematic. “The first offer of Lufthansa was 300 million euros (…) but the commissioners and the government ask to go up to 500 million. In this discussion too, the positions are getting closer,” ensures the Corriere della Sera.

The British low-cost company EasyJet and the U.S. fund Cerberus Capital Management have also filed offers for the partial takeover of Alitalia but “Lufthansa is the solution that seems to offer the best guarantees in terms of financial strength,” says the daily. The German company also offers “better prospects for medium-term industrial development,” adds Corriere della Sera.

Alitalia, which has some 11,500 employees, has accumulated losses in recent years in the face of competition from low-cost companies. It was placed under receivership on May 2, at the request of shareholders, after the rejection by employees of a restructuration plan involving 1,700 job cuts. The deadline for the sale is April 30, 2018.

Alitalia had 836 million euros in cash at the end of November, after the State granted it a bridge loan of 900 million euros. Its situation has improved in recent months, even if it remains precarious.

Source: AFP, Belga

Comment: the fact that Lufthansa is a favourite is already known since weeks. Just have a look at our forum discussion, starting 29 September 2017: http://www.aviation24.be/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=49492&start=280#p356329

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