* Could need another cash call if targets not reached - CEO
* Talks for Etihad tie up in early stages
* Air France-KLM still interested in industrial cooperation
(Adds CEO's comments, further details)
ROME, Jan 13 Troubled Italian airline Alitalia
will ask banks for additional funding and could be forced to
launch another share issue if the business does not perform as
planned, its chief executive said on Monday.
The loss-making airline is struggling to keep flying and
raised 300 million euros ($410 million) in an emergency capital
increase last month having agreed 200 million euros in bank
financing in October.
"If the business plan targets are not reached another cash
call will be inevitable," Gabriele Del Torchio told a
shareholders meeting which re-elected him as chief executive and
Roberto Colaninno as chairman.
Earlier in January newspaper Il Messaggero said Alitalia had
asked banks to extend existing loan agreements by 50 million
Italy's biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo is
Alitalia's leading shareholder with a 20.6 percent stake while
UniCredit is its third-largest investor with 13
Air France-KLM was Alitalia's biggest shareholder
with 25 percent but its stake fell to around 7 percent after the
Franco-Dutch group snubbed Alitalia's recent rights share offer.
Alitalia needs money to invest in more lucrative long-haul
routes after a focus on domestic and regional flights failed to
pay dividends due to competition from budget carriers and
Talks are under way with Etihad to bring the fast-expanding
Abu Dhabi-based airline on board, with sources close to the
matter having said Etihad is willing to take a stake of up to 40
However, Etihad said earlier on Monday it would not be
rushed into making a decision over an investment.
Del Torchio said the talks with Etihad were in an
exploratory phase, but added he was "optimistic".
Alitalia's CEO, who said the new board would remain in place
until 2014 results were approved, also told shareholders Air
France-KLM was still interested in an cooperation deal.
(Reporting by Alberto Sisto; Writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing
by Greg Mahlich)