Two Finalists for Alitalia

Air France, Alitalia, Worst Airline Ever

I’m not sure why, but I’ve had a lot of trouble coming up with post topics this week. Maybe it’s a slow week, or maybe work has just been too busy. Either way, today I’m just going to fall back on my old standby . . . Alitalia.

Today, alitaliaAlitalia received word that of the three expected bidders, only two will make the bid: Air France/KLM and Air One.

Now they have to choose from those two bidders, and it’s not the greatest choice. On the one hand, they have Air One. It’s a small Italian airline that may not be up to the task of integrating the larger, very debt-heavy airline. But, the government could make the most money from them, and yes, the airline would remain Italian.

On the other side, we have Air France/KLM. This is not a stupid airline, so you know they’ve low-balled the bid. I’m reminded of the guys at Texas Pacific Group saying how they’re always interested, it’s just a matter of price. That means of course that the worst of companies may find that TPG is only interested if the price is $1. I’m guessing Air France/KLM is thinking of something along those lines, though not nearly as extreme. The government makes less money, but they may have a better chance of getting an airline that works eventually.

That leaves Lufthansa as the odd man out. They just decided it was a bad idea. Duh. I’m sure they’ll sleep easier tonight.

Now the Alitalia Board will meet to decide which offer they like best. When they choose in the next week or so, they’ll enter into exclusive negotiations with the hope that they’ll get this done by the end of the year.

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6 comments on “Two Finalists for Alitalia

  1. Hurrah for Lufthansa. The last time we Germans got involved with the Italians Mussolini had gotten himself in a mess in Abyssinia and needed a bailout. This bailout would have resulted in the same quagmire. While Germans admire much of the style of Italians, management south of the Alps is not much to speak of and the level of institutional corruption is legendary. Quagmire. Culture shock. Incompatibility. Divorce. I am surprised the Dutch want any part of this deal.

  2. I don’t think it’s the Dutch. It’s the French. They must have figured that they both loved to strike so much, they might as well do it together.

  3. Well, let us hope that should the French gain control of Alitalia that they run it as well as they do Charles De Gaulle.

  4. If AF/KLM wins the bid, do you think they’d keep the Alitalia branding, or just roll all their ops into an AF or KLM product?

  5. I’m sure they’d keep the brand. Actually, the Italian government would probably require it since they’re so big on national pride.

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