Etihad to go ahead with Alitalia deal
Abu Dhabi, June 1, 2014
Etihad Airways said on Sunday it would go ahead with a proposed investment in Alitalia after conditions for the deal were negotiated with the Italian carrier and its stakeholders.
"Upon confirmation by the board of Alitalia and its stakeholders of their acceptance of these terms, the airlines will proceed to final documentation in order to complete the proposed transaction, in line with EU and other regulatory requirements," the companies said in a joint statement.
No details on the terms of the deal were provided.
Etihad said it would forward a letter detailing the conditions and the criteria for a proposed equity investment.
The loss-making Italian airline received a "positive" letter from Etihad Airways on the terms of a planned merger, Italy's Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said earlier in the day.
In a statement, Etihad Airways said that it will forward a letter "detailing the conditions precedent and the criteria for the proposed equity investment by the airline that has been negotiated with Alitalia and its stakeholders over the past months."
The Italian Government appreciates the strategic importance of this transaction and looks favourably at the Etihad Airways - Alitalia partnership, said the statement.
Etihad Airways plans to invest a 560 million euros in Alitalia to take a 49 per cent stake in the airline, earlier reports had said.
"Upon confirmation by the Board of Alitalia and its stakeholders of their acceptance of these terms, the airlines will proceed to final documentation in order to complete the proposed transaction, in line with EU and other regulatory requirements," it said.
President and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said: “We are delighted to be able to move forward with this process and 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.”
Gabriele Del Torchio, chief executive officer of Alitalia, said: “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.”
Roberto Colaninno, president of Alitalia, 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." - Reuters and TradeArabia News Service