December 12, 2008 / 2:39 PM / 9 years ago

CAI investor group formally buys Alitalia assets

ROME, Dec 12 (Reuters) - An Italian investor consortium buying Alitalia formally took possession of the airline’s assets on Friday in another step towards closing the long-awaited deal, said Roberto Colaninno, president of the CAI investor group.

CAI’s purchase of Alitalia for 427 million euros ($567 million) was initially set to be wrapped up by the end of November, but had been delayed.

CAI, a group of top Italian businessmen, has been gradually moving towards completing the deal in recent weeks as the last remaining opposition from employees to the acquisition appeared to lose steam.

The Anpav and Avia unions representing flight attendants agreed on Friday to join the major unions in backing the deal, though CAI had effectively ignored their protests so far and begun individually hiring pilots and flight staff.

CAI on Thursday said it had also finalised the purchase of smaller airline Air One, whose operations will be folded into those of Alitalia as part of the bid to relaunch it. ($1=.7537 euros) (Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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