Monday July 14, 2003
ALITALIA: TOMORROW BOARD DECIDES ON PURCHASE OF MERIDIANA (AGI) - Rome, July 14 - Tomorrow at 9.30am the Alitalian board will meet to decide on the agreement with Meridiana. The order of the day for the meeting does not give any information, but according to national newspapers, the airline managed by Francesco Mengozzi is interested in buying a significant share holding, thus assuming control of management. According to some leaks, the Aga Khan, who holds 80 pct of share capital intends to cede control of the airline only in case of sale, also spread out, of his entire share package (the remaining 20 pct is in the hands of his employees). The operation would cost Alitalia a sum of around 120 million, seen as, according to leaks, the whole package is worth around 150 million. The purchase of Meridiana would increase by a large sum, the "critical mass" of the airline controlled by the Economics Ministry, increasing by 16 pct its share of internal air traffic, which would go from 55 to 81 pct. Meridiana, founded 40 years ago as Alisarda, last year had an income of 370 million euro and carried over 3 million 200 thousand passengers. (AGI)
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