MILAN, July 23 (Reuters) - The banks will not cover any shortfall in an expected capital increase at troubled Italian flagship carrier Alitalia, should the Italian post office decide not to subscribe the cash call, a top executive of Intesa Sanpaolo said on Wednesday.
“It is absolutely out of the question,” Intesa Sanpaolo management board chairman Gian Maria Gros-Pietro said on the sidelines of a conference.
Italy’s biggest retail bank is a shareholder of Alitalia.
Poste Italiane, the state-owned Italian postal services company, is Alitalia’s second-biggest shareholder with nearly 20 percent.
On Tuesday sources said Poste Italiane would only invest more money in Alitalia if it avoided taking on the airline’s past liabilities.
Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Etihad plans to buy 49 percent of the loss-making airline in a deal the Italian government hopes will make Alitalia profitable again.
As part of that deal, all Alitalia shareholders are being asked to participate pro rata in a 200 million euro share issue to cover any losses Alitalia is likely to make before the deal is finalised. (Reporting by Sara Rossi, writing by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Francesca Landini)