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ROME, June 13 The board of Italy's troubled
airline Alitalia on Friday voted to accept an offer by Etihad
Airways to invest in the company, 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 to study and rapidly come up with a
draft of the final contract," Alitalia CEO Gabriele Del Torchio
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is prepared to invest up to 1.25
billion euros ($1.70 billion) over the next four years, Italy's
transport minister said on Wednesday.
Italy's flagship carrier Alitalia, which received a 500
million-euro government-engineered rescue package last year,
risks running out of cash by August unless it can find a
In a statement the privately held airline said it approved
its 2013 balance sheet, without giving details. It said only
that it wrote down 233 million euros in charges and devaluations
for 2013 "in preparation for future strategies".
A source with knowledge of the company's 2013 balance sheet
said losses, excluding the write-down, amounted to about 290
Alitalia is still negotiating with banks about restructuring
about 700 million euros in debt, Del Torchio also 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 Susan Thomas)