Unnamed sources have told the Italian newspaper Messaggero that Air France-KLM is in “advanced” talks to take control of Alitalia by this summer. The Sunday edition of the paper said that Air France-KLM had offered shareholders a 20% premium on what they paid for the airline in 2008. Alitalia is owned by CAI, a consortium of investors that is already part-owned by Air France-KLM. CAI paid just over €1 billion for Alitalia five years ago.
Alitalia's shareholders can now look at options to trade their shares when a lock-up period ends on January 12. Air France previously said that it would wait until at least 2014 before using its option to take control of the Italian airline, in which it has held 25% since January 2009, according to Reuters.