Alitalia's investors okay ?500m rescue package
ALITALIA SpA shareholders approved a ?500 million (RM2.15 billion) rescue package backed by the Italian government to avert a collapse of the airline that's losing more than ?1.5 million a day.
Investors unanimously approved a plan to raise ?300 million by offering new shares to existing shareholders, according to an emailed statement.
The shareholders' assembly started at 5pm yesterday and ran through the night.
The airline's investors, whose biggest is Air France-KLM Group with a 25 per cent stake, have a month from today to decide whether to buy the new stock, Alitalia said.
Directors offered to resign ahead of possible changes in the carrier's ownership, the company said.
"We consider it critical that a capital increase represents a precursor to a successful restructuring," Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Neil Glynn said in a note to clients on Monday.
Alitalia's resources have been depleted by mounting losses and competition from low-cost carriers including EasyJet Plc.
Italy's postal company Poste Italiane SpA agreed to contribute ?75 million for Alitalia, while the country's two biggest banks -UniCredit SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA - will guarantee as much as ?100 million for eventual unopted rights in the capital increase.
They will also provide a ?100 million bridge-to-equity loan, according to a statement last Friday.
Poste chief executive officer Massimo Sarmi met Air France-KLM chief executive officer Alexandre De Juniac at 3.30pm in Paris yesterday to discuss a new Alitalia business plan and try to convince the French airline to remain a partner.
Air France-KLM is leaning against participating in a capital increase at Alitalia SpA as it seeks to preserve funds and the Italian airline shows no sign of a turnaround, three people familiar with the talks said earlier.
The French carrier's stake would fall by more than half to about 11 per cent if it stays outside the capital increase. Bloomberg