Italy has picked a group led by U.S. private equity fund Certares, backed by Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines Inc, for exclusive talks on buying a majority stake in ITA Airways.
The consortium beat a rival bid presented by shipping group MSC and Germany's Lufthansa for the chance to buy control of the successor to Alitalia.
DELTA AIR LINES INC.
AIR FRANCE-KLM SA
DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA AG
ALITALIA RELAUNCH TO INCLUDE ITALIAN STATE OWNERSHIP
The Certares offer, details of which were not made public, would leave the Italian Treasury with a robust minority stake, three sources close to the matter said, with one saying it would be "at least 40%."
Certares, which has its European headquarters in Milan, had reportedly been offering around 600 million euros ($599 million) for a stake of about 60%, but two of the sources said the valuation in the deal was considerably higher than that.
Rome's main Fiumicino airport would be at the center of the industrial plan presented by Certares, they added.