MILAN, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Italy’s state-controlled airline Alitalia AZPIa.MI said on Friday its board had chosen Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) as its preferred suitor, confirming a report by local television news network Sky TG24.
In a statement, loss-making Alitalia said Air France’s offer would generate significant synergies, preserve Alitalia’s brand and provide adequate domestic coverage.
The plan envisages 6.5 billion euros ($9.34 billion) of total investments.
The other bidder was Alitalia’s smaller rival, Air One, which had been favoured by unions and some politicians for its all-Italian appeal.
The Italian government, which holds a 49.9 percent stake in Alitalia, has the final say and will decide next month whether it approves of the board’s choice. (Reporting by Lisa Jucca and Gilles Castonguay)