Saturday, December 13, 2008

Alitalia leaves the nest: Italian Business Men New Guardians

ROME, Dec 12 (Reuters) - An Italian investor consortium buying Alitalia formally took possession of the airline's assets on Friday in another step towards closing the long-awaited deal, said Roberto Colaninno, president of the CAI investor group.

CAI's purchase of Alitalia is said to be 427 million euros ($567 million).

CAI, a group of Italian businessmen, takes control after opposition from employees and others failed....

The Anpav and Avia unions representing flight attendants agreed on Friday to join the major unions in backing the deal, though CAI had effectively ignored their protests so far and begun individually hiring pilots and flight staff.

CAI on Thursday said it had also finalised the purchase of smaller airline Air One, whose operations will be folded into those of Alitalia as part of the bid to relaunch it. ($1=.7537 euros) (Editing by Greg Mahlich)

CAI purche of Alitalia for $600 million is far less than the $1.5 billion reported in press. Maybe the CAI group assumed $1 billion in debt.

Either way, nice that Alitalia will be restructured and readied to compete against the world class Gulf State airlines funded by sovereign wealth funds.

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