October 2, 2013 / 11:57 AM / in 4 years

Intesa says will help Alitalia if company shows growth prospects

TORINO, Italy, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo will do its part to help loss-making airline Alitalia only if there are prospects for the company to grow, Intesa’s management board chairman Gian Maria Gros-Pietro said on Wednesday.

Italy’s government and Alitalia’s management have approached banks such as Intesa for new financing of up to 300 million euros ($406 million) in a bid to keep the company afloat and to invest in a strategy the airline says will revive its fortunes.

The company also plans a capital increase of at least 100 million euros, it said last week.

“Our first duty is to protect the bank’s deposits, it is not our duty to invest in airlines,” Gros-Pietro, whose bank helped rescue Alitalia in 2008, said on the sidelines of a savings presentation.

“We can advance funds to companies that have development potential. If Alitalia shows growth prospects, we will do our part.”

$1 = 0.7393 euros Reporting by Gianni Montani; Writing by Agnieszka Flak

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