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Alitalia accepts Air France-KLM offer

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Monday, 17 March 2008

On 14 March 2008 Air France-KLM submitted a proposal to Alitalia aimed at combining Alitalia and the Air France-KLM Group and acquiring the control of the Italian company.

Since then, the Alitalia board of directors has approved unanimously its proposal. The proposal foresees a share exchange offer on Alitalia shares and a cash offer on Alitalia bonds.

Air France-KLMs offer, conditional on a number of elements, is based on an industrial plan providing for the restructuring and relaunch of Alitalia. It calls for a network organised around the international and intercontinental hub of Rome-Fiumicino, the center for domestic Italian routes, and around European and selected inter-continental destinations operating from Milan.

Air France-KLM is proposing to acquire 100% of the capital of Alitalia via an exchange offer with a parity of 1 Air France-KLM share for 160 Alitalia shares, equivalent to 8.7million Air France-KLM shares for 100% of Alitalia.

The group also proposes to acquire the convertible bonds issued by Alitalia at their current market value of 0.3145 euro per bond, or a total of 608million.

Lastly, Air France-KLM undertakes to underwrite fully a capital increase for a total of 1bn, which will be launched immediately after the closing of the offer and open to all the shareholders of Alitalia. The proceeds of this significant capital increase will be largely directed towards funding the commercial re-launch of Alitalia.

The Air France-KLM offer is conditional on a number of factors, including the endorsement of Alitalias shareholder, the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance and its undertaking to tender its shares and bonds, and the formal agreement of Alitalia's unions. Air France-KLM is relying on the commitment of all the employees, which will be crucial to the successful relaunch of the company.

The launch of the offer is also conditional on the authorization from the relevant competition authorities. The latter should pronounce by the end of the first half of 2008.

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