Alitalia has denied any talks between its senior board-members and representatives from Lufthansa Group over the German carrier’s possible acquisition of a stake in the Italian airline.
Italy’s Messaggero newspaper reported Tuesday that Alitalia’s CEO Cramer Ball and CFO Duncan Naysmith held talks with their counterparts from Lufthansa under the guidance of James Hogan, the President and CEO of the Etihad Aviation Group.
Among the topics reportedly discussed was the German carrier’s purchase of a 45% stake in Alitalia in which Etihad already controls 49%. The Emirati carrier would agree to this transaction provided Lufthansa Group agrees to acquire Air Berlin in which Etihad owns a majority 29.21% stake.
Once Lufthansa Group has entered Alitalia’s shareholding, a cash call would be held to the tune of EUR400-500 million. The report claimed that non participating shareholders, including banks, would see their current stakes diluted thus concreting the German/UAE hold on the Italian national carrier with a 45/45 shareholding each.
Alitalia was reportedly to have held a board meeting this week to discuss the proposal.