Keeping Alitalia airline afloat: 900 million euro bridge loan conversion

Italy’s last council of ministers have approved a new decree law with 11 new rules presented by the Minister of Economic Development, Luigi Di Maio. Among these, at the last minute, is the regulation allowing for the conversion of part of a bridge loan – 900 million euros granted to Alitalia airline in May 2017 – into equity, and, therefore, into a share package (about 15%) of the new company that will be presented by Italia Railways (FS).

In short, the go-ahead for the Treasury to become a shareholder of the new Alitalia in a scheme is official, but all has yet to be defined. At the same time, in fact, an okay was given to the extension of another month (from March 31 to April 30) to FS for the presentation of an industrial plan to the extraordinary commissioners.

The company led by Gianfranco Battisti would have preferred a longer margin that would also cover the month of May, in order to have more time to contract the entry of the other partners.

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Between the Ministry of Economy and Finance (15%), FS (30-40%), and Delta (10%), a large percentage is still uncovered which has not yet met stakeholders’ approval.

With CDP, (a loan banc) Poste (the Mail Group) and Fincantieri, which have repeatedly confirmed their lack of interest in the operation, the tracks leading to China Eastern and Atlantia (Autostrade concessionaire and reference shareholder of Aeroporti di Roma) would still be alive.

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