Alitalia and CAI
How’s this for a laugh? In March, Berlusconi kicks Air France/KLM in the teeth for daring to try to buy Alitalia, for Eur 139m, plus buying up all the available stock, plus taking on all the debt – all Eur 1 BILLION of it.
Having knocked that one back, Berlusconi hands the job of finding a buyer over to the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo. Intesa Sanpaolo duly report that, very sorry, can’t find anyone willing to take on this company, but here’s a consortium of Italian companies willing to put a billion euros into the company. With conditions – that the Italian state take on all the built-up debt. Remember, that’s 1 BILLION euro of it.
For how much? Oh, about Eur 300m.
What a deal! Cancel all the debt, grab all those airplanes and routes, for a piddling 300m euro?
Along comes CAI, a consortium of Italian businesses, who suggest that if the government take on the debt, they’ll invest 1 billion euro in the new, debt free company. And who ends up being in CAI?
Intesa Sanpaolo. Now how’s THAT for a conflict of interest???
The bank given the job of selling Alitalia tell the government it can’t find any buyers and recommends a plan to sell the company to itself for a knockdown price!
So the unions reject the deal. CAI walk away. The Italians ask Air France/KLM if they’re interested, and what’s the response?
No, not now, not ever.
Why not? Is it because Berlusconi is hostile to foreign ownership of Alitalia?
No, it’s ‘cos now Air France/KLM can get their hands on the company for a lot less by buying part of CAI! They’be be STUPID to buy into Alitalia now, with all the conditions that have been attached, when they can share the spoils behind the scenes.
So now CAI is the only deal on the table, because all the foreign airlines aren’t stupid.
Unlike the unions who rejected the Air France/KLM deal and are now a lot worse off!.
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