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Fonsai won't take part in 300 mn Alitalia capital increase

Not strategic, says insurance company CEO

25 October, 18:35
Fonsai won't take part in 300 mn Alitalia capital increase (ANSA) - Bologna, October 25 - The Italian insurance company Fonsai has chosen not to participate in a 300-million-euro capital increase for Italy's troubled flagship airline Alitalia, Chief Executive Carlo Cimbri said on Friday.

Fonsai owns 4.4% of Italy's teetering flagship airline.

"No. I have already said that the holding is not strategic," Cimbri said on the fringes of a shareholder assembly to approve a merger of insurance companies to reorganize a constellation of assets that once made up the insurance dynasty of former majority owners Salvatore Ligresti and his family.

Ligresti and several others have been accused of accounting fraud and market manipulation at Fonsai that enabled Ligresti, according to the indictment, to acquire illegal dividends of 200 million euros.

Earlier this month Alitalia shareholders approved an emergency 300-million-euro capital hike to pull the airline from the brink of bankruptcy.

The State-owned post office, Poste Italiane, will buy up to 75 million euros in any unsubscribed shares in the capital increase. Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit will guarantee to take a stake worth up to 100 million euros.

The capital boost is part of a government-engineered 500-million-euro rescue package, which also includes 200 million euros in loans, and prompted International Airlines Group last week to urge the European Commission to intervene to suspend what it said was ''flagrant State aid'', a charge Italian Transportation Minister Maurizio Lupi has denied.