German Efromovich and USAerospace ready to invest in Alitalia
Businessman German Efromovich and USAerospace Partners said they were ready to invest in Italian airline Alitalia on Friday. Separated, these announcements come after Rome has planned its nationalization.
USAerospace Partners, an American group of companies specializing in air operations (maintenance, cargo, etc.), is willing to invest up to $ 1.5 billion and has requested a meeting with the various ministers concerned.
In a statement quoted by Italian agencies, USAerospace president Michele Roosevelt Edwards said she was ready “to discuss with government and parliament possible models for the governance of society that could best guarantee way, a real and lasting revival of the company, keeping stable its development in Italy “.
USAerospace, which had already expressed its interest in Alitalia last March, bought in 2019 the brand and the assets of WOW Air, the Icelandic low-cost airline. Mr. Efromovich, former majority shareholder of the South American airline Avianca, said that he was ready to invest a billion euros, either by acquiring Alitalia or by entering into a partnership with the state.
“Zero political interference”
“My group, Synergy, has no endless resources. If Alitalia needed up to a billion euros, we would have no problem,” he said in an interview with the business daily Il Sole 24 Ore. “I have no problem with a partnership. But if I had to do it with the public sector I would pose only one condition: zero political interference,” he added.
The Brazilian-Colombian entrepreneur, born in Bolivia, nevertheless explains that he did not have access to information about the company and believes that he will have to “first understand the situation” to define a strategic plan. He said the Minister of Economic Development and the administrator of the company had not responded to his letter so far, “but we are working to make our voices heard,” he said.
While the state has indicated that it will create a new public company in June to save Alitalia, into which it will inject 3 billion euros, Mr. Efromovich said: “It does not take three billion euros to make running this company is too much. “
Asked about the possibility of layoffs if he took over Alitalia, he said that “the cost of the work will be studied”, but “it is clear that it must be the same as that of other companies in Europe. We will have to be competitive or the business will die. ” Alitalia has accumulated losses for years and had to be placed under the supervision of the administration in 2017. Since that date, the State has sought in vain for buyers.
FS attempt failed
The Italian public railway group, Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), which tried for a time to form a consortium to save Alitalia, threw in the towel in early January, after having been in contact with the American airline Delta, the German Lufthansa and the Italian manager of motorways and airports Atlantia (family of Luciano Benetton).
From now on, the government intends to relaunch the company by nationalizing it, taking advantage of the crisis also affecting its competitors so severely due to the epidemic of coronavirus. In April, Alitalia posted a 97% drop in turnover due to the new coronavirus pandemic, according to company administrator Giuseppe Leogrande, and 6,600 employees were laid off until the end of October (AWP )