Ryanair makes ‘non-binding’ offer for Alitalia
Budget airline Ryanair says it has made a “non-binding offer” for loss-making Italian carrier Alitalia.
In May, Alitalia filed to be put into special administration for the second time since 2008. It will now be restructured, sold off or wound up.
On Friday, reports said Alitalia had received about 10 non-binding offers.
“We have made a non-binding offer for Alitalia. As the largest airline in Italy, it’s important we are involved in the process,” Ryanair said.
In June, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said that if the carrier did decide to invest in Alitalia then it would look to acquire a majority stake.
The Italian government has ruled out renationalising Alitalia, which was privatised and relaunched nine years ago after filing for bankruptcy in 2007.
The government said in May that it would provide a bridging loan to keep the airline’s planes flying for about another six months.
About 18 firms initially interested in a potential purchase were reportedly given access to Alitalia’s financial figures, and non-binding offers had to be submitted by the end of last week.
Those interested in making binding offers have until October to do so.
However, if no buyer comes forward then administrators will be faced with the prospect of winding up Alitalia, which is 49%-owned by Gulf airline Etihad.