Alitalia board votes to accept Etihad offer, rapidly do deal-CEO

ROME, June 13 Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:33pm EDT

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ROME, June 13 (Reuters) - The board of Italy's troubled airline Alitalia on Friday voted to accept Etihad Airways' offer of an investment of up to 1.25 billion euros over the next four years and said it would move quickly to conclude the tie-up, the company's chief executive said.

"Today the Etihad plan was approved and the board delegated myself and the chairman the job to study and rapidly come up with a draft of the final contract," Alitalia CEO Gabriele Del Torchio said.

Alitalia is still negotiating with banks about restructuring about 700 million euros ($953.1 million) in debt, Del Torchio said.

"We're proceeding, but you must understand that the sums are not small. We're still working on it," he said. ($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Steve Scherer, editing by Isla Binnie)

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