Monday, October 16, 2006

Alitalia needs privatisation, extra cash; prefers partners in Asia

Milan: Italy's deputy prime minister Francesco Rutelli said that the troubled airline Alitalia SpA, in which the government has a 49.9 pct stake, has to be privatised and needs extra cash.
In an interview with the daily La Repubblica, Rutelli said that Alitalia can be saved because of a 'serious' business plan drafted by the government and a change of management.
Rutelli added that as well as private investors and additional financial resources, Alitalia needs to find an international partner, and he reiterated he would prefer an Asian partner to a European one.
Italy is seeking a business partner for Alitalia 'in the Gulf, Asia, India, China or Thailand', he said. 'Asia has money and planes but it lacks routes and stopover points,' he said. 'Others, such as the French or Germans, could be less generous allies.'
15/10/06 AFX/Forbes, US