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Etihad-Alitalia due diligence 'almost done' says Italian CEO

Gulf carrier might buy 40% stake in troubled Italian airline

03 April, 15:43
Etihad-Alitalia due diligence 'almost done' says Italian CEO (ANSA) - Rome, April 3 - A deal between struggling Italian carrier Alitalia and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways appears closer as due diligence is almost complete, the company said Thursday.

"Due diligence is all but finished as of today," CEO Gabriele Del Torchio said. "The next step is to meet and enter the negotiating phase".

In early February, Etihad and Alitalia issued a joint statement saying they were in the "final phase" of negotiations for a deal that would see the Abu Dhabi carrier buy as much as a 40% stake in its Italian counterpart, the equivalent of a much-needed capital injection of 350 million euros.

The Gulf carrier is vying to broaden its network in Europe.