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Rome extends deadline for Alitalia bids

Italy extended its deadline for bids to acquire a controlling share of airline Alitalia for the second time within a month on Friday amid lagging interest. 

The Economics Ministry said the deadline has been extended to July 23, after earlier pushing the deadline from July 2 to July 12. In the past several months, three potential bidders, including Russian airline Aeroflot, have pulled themselves out of the process. Only one bidder remains, AP Holding, run by Italian businessman Carlo Toto and owner of Italy's Air One airline.

The lack of interest is attributed to not enough information about Alitalia's economic situation. It has suffered losses and been plagued by an aging fleet and frequent strikes. The Italian government hopes to sell the majority of its 49.9% stake in the airline, and is seeking an investor to acquire at least 39.9% of the airline. (