December 21, 2007 / 6:03 PM / 11 years ago

Alitalia says board picks Air France-KLM bid

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)

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