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Etihad details criteria for equity investment in Alitalia

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-06-2014 PTI

Dubai: The UAE-based Etihad Airways has said that it is pressing ahead with a plan for an equity investment in the struggling Italian carrier Alitalia.

Etihad Airways, which has been in negotiations for almost a year, said it will forward a letter detailing the conditions and the criteria for a proposed equity investment in the Italian airline which had to turn to shareholders for a £250 million cash injection for its bail-out in January.

“The Italian Government appreciates the strategic importance of this transaction and looks favourably at the Etihad Airways-Alitalia partnership,” the Abu Dhabi-based airline said in a statement, without divulging details of the proposed transaction and the size of the stake.

The airlines will proceed to final documentation in order to complete the proposed transaction in line with the European Union guidelines and other regulatory requirements.

Terming the deal as an “excellent outcome for Alitalia”, Gabriele Del Torchio, CEO of Alitalia, said the investment would provide financial stability and confirms Alitalia’s key strategic role as an infrastructure player in the travel and tourism industry in Italy for long-term growth.

“This is an excellent outcome for Alitalia. This investment will provide financial stability and confirms Alitalia’s key strategic role as an infrastructure player in the travel and tourism industry in Italy for long-term growth,” Torchio said.

Expressing happiness over the deal, President and CEO of Etihad Airways James Hogan said they “look forward to the successful conclusion of the proposed transaction with Alitalia”.

“An equity investment in Alitalia will be beneficial not only for the both airlines, but, more importantly, it will give more choice and broader travel opportunities to business and leisure travellers into and out of Italy,” Hogan said.

“We are delighted to move forward with Etihad Airways providing Alitalia with an ideal strategic partner enhancing the Company’s long term growth perspectives,” said President of Alitalia Roberto Colaninno.

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