Everything is ready for Ita’s capital increase of 700 million. In the next few hours, the board of directors chaired by Alfredo Altavilla will give the green light to the maxi-operation aimed at acquiring Alitalia’s assets, thus starting the industrial plan conceived and developed by CEO Fabio Lazzerini. This is a decisive step for the take-off of the new company which received the formal OK in Brussels on Thursday and now has to run fast to lift the trolleys on October 15th.
Alitalia, the road map to Ita
The road map imagined by Lazzerini, obviously in agreement with the Treasury and Palazzo Chigi, is compelling. And it provides that the assembly of Ita, in the process of convening, gives a green light to the strengthening of assets by the weekend at the latest. The formal fulfillment will make it possible to have the financial ammunition to start direct negotiations with the extraordinary administration of Alitalia for the purchase of the flight branch (pilots, flight attendants and part of the planes). The commissioners – as written in the decree approved by the government – must respond very quickly to the requests of Ita, at most in three days, to allow the company to structure and organize itself in a stable manner. And obtain, among other things, the flight certificates from Enac to start the business. In a first phase, as known, the planes will be 52 aircraft with 2,800 employees. Already next year, however, the newco expects to reach 5,750 employees in the aviation branch, including pilots and flight attendants.
It is not yet clear how much Ita will spend to acquire the flight sector, at least in this first summer session. Some estimates, however unofficial, speak of around 400-450 million. But even here a lot will depend on the indications that will arrive from the Treasury which, in these hours, is increasing the pressure on the extraordinary commissioners who have a long summer of work ahead of them.
In truth, according to rumors coming from the pilots’ unions, the extraordinary administration would be late on the front of the tender to sell the Alitalia brand. Announcement that should be triggered by the hour and instead would not be ready yet for technical reasons. There are also rumors of a letter or a formal request that the commissioners would have sent to Ita to ask for further guarantees on the purchase of the aircraft and therefore on the desire to acquire the tricolor brand, linking the definition of the price to the two operations. Discounted the reassurances and the invitation to proceed promptly.
The value of the Alitalia brand fluctuates – according to analysts – between 100 and 115 million euros and Ita will do everything to get to the finish line first. «They forbade us to buy the Alitalia brand, sic et simpliciter – said Lazzerini just the day before yesterday – and this was one of the conditions of the EU, it is not certain that it will be ours, but we will do everything to take the brand. It is a piece of history with the colors of the Italian flag that we do not want to lose ».
Ryanair, the strongest low cost on the Italian market, would be giving us a thought, if only to raise the price. The Irish company is interested in buying the slots left free in Fiumicino and Linate by Alitalia and that Ita cannot use after the agreement with the EU commission. And this precisely in the logic of the discontinuity desired by Commissioner Vestager who, inevitably, favors the competitors of the Italian carrier.
At the same time, Lazzerini is accelerating talks both with Lufthansa, which is part of the Star Alliance, and with Delta-Air France-Klm-Virgin of Sky Team. The goal of the new national airline is to close an industrial and commercial partnership agreement by the summer.
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