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Company Watch - Alitalia.

Sep 7, 2008

Alitalia's adviser will soon present details of the airline's rescue plan to British Airways, considered by Italy as a possible foreign partner for the bankrupt airline, an executive told a newspaper. "Soon we will present the plan to British Airways as well," an executive at Intesa Sanpaolo, the Italian bank behind the plan, said in an interview published in business daily Il Sole 24 Ore on Saturday. Gaetano Micciche, who heads the bank's corporate and investment banking division, has already presented the plan to Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, and he said he had got a positive response from both airlines. An industry source last month said British Airways would not consider a partnership with Alitalia. Sep 6, 2008

Alitalia Extraordinary Administrator Augusto Fantozzi gave the carrier's unions one week to agree on the government-led rescue plan. Italian Labor Minister Maurizio Sacconi told reporters that the plan calls for 3,250 layoffs. There are approximately 17,500 employed by Alitalia and likely partner Air One, the Associated Press reported. Sep 5, 2008

Alitalia filed for bankruptcy last week to set in motion the government-sponsored rescue of the flailing national carrier after a 20 month hunt for a buyer. The carrier's powerful unions have yet to back the deal and have been given a one week deadline to get on board with the latest rescue plan. CAI on Friday named a three member board with the head of the consortium, Piaggio CEO Roberto Colannino, appointed chairman. The man expected to become Alitalia's next chief executive, Rocco Sabelli, was named to that post. A source close to the matter said CAI would be transformed into a company with a legal entity once the bankruptcy process became clearer. CAI's investors also approved the acquisition of AP Holding, which owns Alitalia's domestic rival Air One. Sep 5, 2008

Alitalia's cargo, maintenance, call center and IT operations would stay in the hands of Augosto Fantozzi, the administrator overseeing Alitalia's bankruptcy process. One of the businessmen in the investor group Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI) said on Thursday the group does not plan to buy the bankrupt carrier's cargo and heavy maintenance units. Sep 5, 2008

Intesa Sanpaolo, which drew up a rescue plan for Alitalia, on Friday denied a French report saying former suitor Air France KLM could become a majority owner of the Italian airline within five years. Employment Minister Maurizio Sacconi also ruled out a report by French daily La Tribune that Air France KLM could take a 10 percent to 20 percent stake in a revitalized Alitalia. The report also said Intesa executives could have also offered it the option of becoming a majority owner by 2013. Air France KLM and Lufthansa are tipped as front-runners to buy a stake in Alitalia after a relaunch led by Italian investors, but Italy's government has stressed that the airline will remain under Italian control and foreign partners can only buy a minority stake. Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti said on Friday he would speak to parliament next week about the role of Air France in the new Alitalia. Sep 5, 2008

Investors Drop Cargo, Maintenance From Alitalia Deal. The Italian investor group leading a rescue of state-controlled Alitalia does not plan to buy the bankrupt carrier's cargo and heavy maintenance units, one of the businessmen leading the group told unions. Rocco Sabelli, who is expected to become the airline's next CEO, said the investor group had yet to decide the fate of the carrier's informatics, call center and administrative service units, according to a union official present at the meeting. The group, composed of 16 Italian business figures, plans to buy Alitalia's best assets in a bid to relaunch the carrier, while leaving the rest to be liquidated or sold off. Sep 4, 2008

An Italian investor group leading a government-sponsored rescue of Alitalia submitted an offer to buy a large chunk of the bankrupt airline, bringing it another step closer to a long-awaited restructuring. No details about the offer were disclosed, but Alitalia said on Wednesday the commissioner overseeing its bankruptcy had determined that the bid by Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI) appeared to meet requirements under a newly modified law. The offer is part of the government's latest attempt to settle the fate of the carrier, which filed for bankruptcy last week after 20 months on the block. Under the plan, the investors will buy Alitalia's best parts and relaunch it as a smaller airline, while the rest of the carrier is liquidated or sold off. Smaller Italian carrier Air One will also be folded into the reshaped Alitalia. Sep 3, 2008

Bankrupt Alitalia's nine major unions on Tuesday said they were willing to negotiate on the latest plan to salvage the airline but needed to be convinced of the plan's merits before discussing job losses. Winning union backing is crucial for the rescue plan led by a group of Italian investors who plan to buy the best parts of the struggling airline which filed for bankruptcy on Friday. The investor group, led by Piaggio CEO Roberto Colaninno, formally submitted a bid for certain Alitalia assets on Monday, sources familiar with the matter have said. Italy's government has warned the unions -- who scuppered a sale to Air France-KLM earlier this year -- that they have no choice but to get on board with the rescue plan, with liquidation of the airline the only other option. Sep 2, 2008

The Alitalia board released a statement Friday saying it has "requested admission to the receivership procedure" outlined in last week's newly passed bankruptcy legislation and has "taken steps to file for insolvency at the Rome Court." The government named former Finance Minister Augusto Fantozzi as Alitalia's administrator, the Associated Press reported. According to Agence France Presse, the new legislation allows bankrupt companies to speed up the selling of shares and employee reductions while relaxing antitrust rules, which would allow Air One to be combined into the new streamlined carrier. Alitalia's loss-making components will be placed under bankruptcy protection and liquidated, according to reports. Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Corrado Passera told the ANSA news agency that the bank would take 10% of a restructured Alitalia with a EUR100-EUR150 million investment. Sep 1, 2008

Lufthansa is competing with Air France KLM to be a strategic partner with a reorganized Alitalia, whose board declared bankruptcy last Friday, the head of a key investor group told La Repubblica Friday. Roberto Colaninno, who reportedly leads the consortium of 16 Italians organized by Intesa Sanpaolo and prepared to invest EUR1 billion ($1.48 billion) in the carrier, said, "We are negotiating with both, and they're going at the same speed. . .one of the two will do." AF KLM confirmed its interest in partnering with Alitalia last week . LH did not comment.

Sep 1, 2008

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Date:Sep 8, 2008
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