We are not bidding for Alitalia, Singapore Airlines says


Much coverage has been devoted in the media on which organization is bidding for Alitalia, from US investment funds Evergreen and Quantum to Air France and AP Holding, the operator of Air One, Italy’s second biggest airline. Now, a company has spoken to make clear its intention: that it is not going to submit a bid for Alitalia.

Singapore Airlines on Friday issued a statement citing a release from Alitalia claiming that it has received notice of intention from a consortium, including Singapore Airlines, to make a bid for Alitalia. “For the information of shareholders, Singapore Airlines advises that it has not submitted a bid for Alitalia, and has no intention of doing so,” Singapore Airlines said.

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Singapore Airlines said it wants to emphasize that it is not a party to any consortium seeking to buy Alitalia, nor will it ever be part of one. “Singapore Airlines is not involved in discussions with any consortium with the intention of making or furthering a bid for Alitalia.”

The Alitalia statement, according to Singapore Airlines’ press office, has refered to undertakings given by Singapore Airlines Holdings. “As far as Singapore Airlines Limited is aware, no such company exists, and if it does, it is not authorized to make undertakings for Singapore Airlines Limited in relation to Alitalia.”

According to published reports, Italian prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation into US investment funds Evergreen and Quantum for speculation in the bidding for Alitalia. With this supposed bid now the subject of an investigation, it has become clear that France-KLM and AP Holding are the two top contenders to buy troubled Alitalia, which is reportedly losing more than 1 million euros a day.

However, troubles continue for Alitalia as shares tumbled to a record low on Friday after it was publicized that Air One bidding just 1 euro cent a share and Air France offering 35 euro cents per share were both way below market price. As a matter of fact, they are less than half Alitalia’s closing share price of 0.75 euro on Friday.

Alitalia is scheduled to hold a board of directors meeting tomorrow to iron out which sole bidder it chooses to commence negotiations with.