The state-controlled Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato wants to make a takeover bid for the ailing airline and former state line Alitalia. That has formally decided the leadership of the state railway, it said in an official communication last night.The move was expected to be part of a rescue plan for the populist government in Rome. Financial details of the announced takeover offer were initially unknown.
Reference to „important, international partner“
Vice-Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio of the populist five-star movement announced two and a half weeks ago that the government, together with the state railway and an international partner, wanted to revive the airline. The state will take over about 15 percent of the capital, said Di Maio. Initially, it was not clear what proportion the railway should hold in the future.
Also about the potential foreign investor Di Maio was silent. But it would be an „important, international technology partner,“ he told the financial newspaper „Il Sole 24 Ore“.
Alitalia filed for bankruptcy in May 2017 and has since fled the government thanks to a € 900 million bridge loan. The insolvency administrators are to find new owners by this Wednesday. Otherwise, the EU Commission could take legal action against state funding.