Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is about to clinch a deal to rescue Italy’s long-suffering flag carrier Alitalia. Etihad could put some 500 million euro in the Italian firm in exchange for a 49 percent stake, provided the debt level is cut and operating costs reduced mainly through a wave of redundancies.
Existing shareholders will see their stakes cut. This includes the Italian post operator, the Atlantia toll road operator, banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit and former white-knight, airline Air France KLM. The banks have to give twice as they lose part of an equity stake and have to take a debt haircut.