Etihad to Take 49% Stake in Alitalia
Deal to be Largest Investment in a Foreign Carrier
Etihad Airways, which has made investments in numerous foreign airlines in recent years, is close to finalizing a major investment in Italy’s Alitalia.
The Abu Dhabi state-owned airline will buy a 49% stake in Alitalia in a deal the two carriers hope to close “as soon as possible,” the airlines said in a joint statement. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.
The agreement, the two airlines said in a joint statement, “could lead to the finalization of a proposed transaction.”
In order for the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, to move ahead, final shareholder and board approvals from both carriers are required. The European Commission is currently scrutinizing investments by foreign airlines and, earlier this month, two major European airlines, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, asked the commission to further investigate whether investments by airlines owned by foreign governments violate EU rules on state aid.
Etihad has made similar investments in seven airlines including Air Berlin, Air Serbia, Darwin Airline, and Aer Lingus.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)