Russia's Aeroflot has joined the race for troubled Italian carrier Alitalia as the deadline for prospective bidders planning to take part in the company's privatization expired Monday.
In a statement, the Italian Treasury said Aeroflot had paired up with Unicredit, Italy's largest bank. The ministry also announced that two other bidders - United States private equity fund Texas Pacific Group and MatlinPatterson Global Advisers - had joined forces, reducing the total number of bidders entering the next stage to three. Rival Italian airline AirOne, backed by Intesa-San Paolo bank, is the other bidder. The shortlisted concerns must now submit a preliminary non-binding offers for Alitalia by April 16. The Treasury is planning to complete the privatization of Alitalia by selling at least 39.9% of its 49.9% stake in the loss-making carrier. Alitalia shares were up nearly nine per cent during late afternoon trading in Milan. (news.monstersandcritics.com)