Alitalia investors back emergency cash call in all-night meeting
ROME (Reuters) - Alitalia's shareholders unanimously approved a 300 million-euro ($408 million) share issue on Tuesday to keep the near-bankrupt Italian airline flying.
Alitalia's biggest investor Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), which had said it would seek tough conditions as part of any involvement in the capital raising exercise, gave its approval along with the airline's other shareholders during an all-night meeting which ended after 2100 EDT Monday.
The cash call forms part of a 500 million euro government-led rescue plan. But despite approving it, shareholders are under no obligation to participate and have 30 days from October 16 to decide how much money to sink into the issue of new shares.
The state-owned post office, brought in last week to provide emergency funding while Alitalia works out how to ensure its long-term survival, will put in 75 million euros for any unsubscribed shares, while banks Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) and Unicredit (CRDI.MI) will guarantee to subscribe for up to 100 million euros.
All eyes are now on Air France-KLM, which owns a 25 percent stake, and whose potential participation in the capital increase will be a decisive factor for Alitalia's future. An Air France-KLM spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday.
($1 = 0.7361 euros)
(Additional reporting by Cyril Altmeyer in Paris; Writing by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Sophie Walker)
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