Suddenly, in the silence of negotiations, comes the news that the Cerberus investment fund is proposing the purchase of Alitalia as a whole – both handling and aviation services. This is just what the government and the commissioners have been looking for in recent months without collecting consents from potential buyers.
According to Repubblica.it – which recalls an article in Financial Times – the private equity fund, Cerberus, would have submitted its proposal to the commissioners in the last days after being left out of the official auction “for its too restrictive terms.”
However, when the news of partial bids of Lufthansa and easyJet leaked, the US returned to the attack by proposing a sum that could reach 400 million euros to gain control over the entire business, both in flight operations and those of land. The offer would be bound to a major restructuring involving all Alitalia ramifications.
Always according to the national newspaper, the private equity fund can only buy 49% of the airline (because it is extra-EU) and would, therefore, intend to “involve employees with a shareholding plan and would like to hold on board a share holding also the state.”
Cerberus would be willing to continue to examine the company’s data with the extraordinary commissioners by already planning the carrier’s future before finalizing the offer with the goal of “keeping the business together to save an Italian airline and not only choose assets best,” reports the Financial Times.
The US fund proposal, however, will not be easy since the race has already been closed with seven deals, of which only two have been unveiled, Lufthansa and Easyjet, both willing to take over only part of the old Alitalia. The Gentiloni government granted a further 300 million euros lending loan, which added to the 600 already allocated, extending the terms for sale to next April. According to Repubblica.it, therefore, it will be time – in addition to a new government unwilling to accept a tear and blood plan – to play in favor of Cerberus.