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Aeroflot to bid for stake in Alitalia

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Russia's flagship carrier Aeroflot [RTS: AFLT] said Monday it has applied for a state-controlled stake in Italy's Alitalia.
MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's flagship carrier Aeroflot [RTS: AFLT] said Monday it has applied for a state-controlled stake in Italy's Alitalia.

"We have sent an application to the Italian Finance Ministry to buy Alitalia shares. If we receive approval, Aeroflot could be included in the list of bidders," Aeforlot spokesperson Irina Dannenberg said.

Earlier, Sergio Ermotti, deputy director of UniCredit bank said Aeroflot and the bank intended to bid for a stake-controlled block of shares in Alitalia.

Alitalia posted a 380-million euro net loss in 2006.

"The company lost 3.2 billion euros from 1996 through 2006," Italian Economic Development Minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa said.

Last fall, the Italian government decided to privatize the airline by selling at least 30.1% of its 49.9% stake.

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