Etihad completes acquisition of 49% stake at Alitalia
Etihad Airways said it has completed a deal to acquire a 49 per cent stake in the financially ailing Alitalia, with the “new” Italian carrier set to start operations on January 1.
“Alitalia and Etihad Airways today announced the completion of all the formalities related to the transfer of air transport operations from Alitalia CAI to the new Alitalia SAI [Società Aerea Italiana],” the two airlines said in a joined statement.
Etihad added that it has “subscribed and paid” for the capital increase of €387.5 million to acquire the stake in the airline.
In November, Maurizio Lupi, the Italian transport minister, told The National that he expected “no obstacles” to the deal, valued at a total of €1.75bn, and that their alliance would be fully operational by the New Year.
Etihad over the past three years has been acquiring equity stakes in struggling carriers to boost its geographic footprint and connectivity,
This year, Etihad has grown its equity partnership to eight, including Air Seychelles, airberlin, Virgin Australia, Air Serbia, Ireland’s Aer Lingus and India’s Jet Airways. An investment in Etihad Regional (formerly known as Darwin Airline) is awaiting final regulatory approval.
Alitalia approached Etihad last year after its major shareholders, including Air France-KLM, refused to provide more capital and reduced their holding to 7 per cent from 20 per cent.
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Updated: December 23, 2014 04:00 AM