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CLARA MOSCHINI

Alitalia airplanes. Investment firm Cerberus seeking alliance with easyJet?

Rome, Italy - It would be aimed to get to the acquisition of the Italian airline; meanwhile also for Calenda the offer from Lufthansa "must be improved"

If in the hearing with the unified Commissions for Transport, Productive activities and Labour that took place yesterday in Rome the extraordinary commissioners of Alitalia Luigi Gubitosi and Stefano Paleari did not get into the details of the negotiations for the sale of the Italian airline, respecting the confidentiality of the procedure, press continues instead to report other indiscretions: the Italian newspaper "Il Sole 24 Ore" wrote today that talks would have been going on for a few weeks already between the US private investment firm Cerberus and the British airline easyJet to reach an alliance and put together their forces. According to the newspaper the topic should be discussed next Tuesday at a meeting in Rome between the commissioners of Alitalia and represenatives from Cerberus: the American private equity firm would be aimed to get the operational control of the tricolored company and its interest would be related to the participation of the Italian Government and of pilots' and personnel's unions as shareholders. Cerberus did not submit a binding offer within the procedure for the sale of Alitalia and about its initial proposal people talked last month on the occasion of a meeting in New York (see AVIONEWS); easyJet took part at the tender in accordance with the invitation. Until now among the received proposals there was much talk about the one by Lufthansa, which was judged "inadequate" by Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Graziano Delrio. Yesterday morning before that the data of these last months were announced by Gubitosi and Paleari (see AVIONEWS 2), the Italian Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda had repeated at the radio that the offer from the German company "must be improved". "What is important to me is that Italian people have connections as efficient as possible, and to spend as little as possible. Commissioners are doing a good job, they spent very little of what we gave them, today on the table there are different offers", Calenda said and referring to the German proposal he added: "the task is improving it in the way I said. I remeber to everybody that if today we are in this situation it is because workers decided that one billion euros of investments and a temporary cut of salaries by 14% was not acceptable, therefore very well, it was their right; but it is not their right that all this fall back on Italian people's shoulders".

AVIONEWS - 1208697
World Aeronautical Press Agency
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