The Benetton family’s Atlantia SpA will discuss an investment of about 300 million euros ($336 million) to buy a minority stake in troubled Italian airline Alitalia SpA at a board meeting Thursday, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The infrastructure company could acquire a stake of about 30% in a new holding company that would oversee the carrier’s turnaround, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.
Atlantia’s investment hinges on the participation of the Italian Treasury and U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines Inc., as well as a detailed business plan, the person said.
A spokesman for Atlantia declined to comment on the matter.
Financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday that Atlantia may seek a stake between 30% and 40% for an investment of at least 300 million euros.
The Italian government reiterated last week that binding bids for the bankrupt airline must be made by July 15. It said the bidding groups as currently configured include a possible stake of about 35% for state rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato, Delta at 10%-15% and the Treasury at about 15%.
Italy’s Economic Development Minister Luigi Di Maio, who also serves as deputy premier, favors a smaller stake for Atlantia, with other partners taking up the remainder, daily la Repubblica reported Wednesday.
Di Maio, head of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, has been a sharp critic of Atlantia, whose toll-road operator Autostrade managed the highway concession for the Morandi bridge that collapsed last August. Atlantia also owns Aeroporti di Roma Spa, the operator of Rome’s airports.
Di Maio’s partner and rival in the ruling coalition, Matteo Salvini, is reportedly more in favor of a larger role for Atlantia.