Wednesday, September 24, 2008

For Sale .... One Used Italian Airline

Alitalia has hung out a “For Sale” sign — again.

The bankrupt airline published a notice in four newspapers on Tuesday soliciting offers to buy any or all the company's assets.

The move comes after a group of Italian investors made official on Monday its decision to withdraw an offer to take over the profitable assets of Alitalia. It was the third failed attempt to sell off the long-troubled airline in less than two years as two successive governments have moved to keep a four-year-old pledge to the EU to privatize the flagship carrier.

Alitalia is seeking “whoever might be able to guarantee the continuity, in the medium term, of the transportation service ... to submit its expression of interest,” read the notice published in the Italian newspapers Corriere della Sera, il Sole-24 Ore and la Repubblica, as well as the London-based Financial Times.

The notice, initially posted Monday evening on the airline's Web site, urges potential buyers to take into account the need for a speedy transaction.

With Alitalia's future still unclear, Premier Silvio Berlusconi delayed his departure to New York for the U.S. General Assembly, where is he scheduled to speak on Thursday. Mr. Berlusconi was to leave midday Tuesday, but was delaying his departure for a Cabinet meeting. It was unclear when he would leave.

Barring a valid offer, Alitalia's extraordinary administrator, appointed after the airline declared bankruptcy Aug. 29, said Alitalia's clock would stop ticking Oct. 1. Italian civil aviation authorities have indicated the end might come even sooner.

“I would say that we have until the end of the week,” administrator Augusto Fantozzi told reporters in Rome on Monday. “Probably we will have time until next Tuesday, which means in effect that, as of today, Sept. 30th is the last day possible” of operation.

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SheR. said...

Another one bites the dust...

Nomadic Matt said...

not surprised.....and i won't be surprised when no one buys it AGAIN