Alitalia board of directors gives mandate to make Etihad top shareholder
Alitalia is expected to strike an 'eminent stake deal' with
The airline's board of directors, which met on Friday, said they would seek to secure a final deal to make
"The board has allowed Alitalia president
Italian government, which terms the airlines as a strategic asset, has welcomed the move. Transport Minister
"The airline's board gives a mandate to close (negotiations) with Etihad. Good!
"Etihad, which already has stakes in airberlin and
According to Italian media, the issue of debt had still not been discussed after a meeting between the banks and the Italian government on Thursday. The banks have already expressed their basic support to Etihad's rescue plan, sources close to the talks have said, although details of the debt restructuring still need to be defined.
Options proposed include the banks writing off parts of the debt and converting the remainder into equity. Unions also need to agree to proposed job cuts, which
Alitalia's board "expressed appreciation" for Etihad's proposals, which include plans to make the Italian carrier profitable by 2017. The board will again meet on
Etihad still needs to secure an agreement with Alitalia's creditors, mainly
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