Air France-KLM's potential takeover of Alitalia will not happen before the final quarter of 2013, says the group's chief financial officer.
In a conference call on quarterly results, Philippe Calavia said that any liquidity problems at the Italian flag carrier would emerge during the fourth quarter of 2013, adding that any decision on acquisition is unlikely to happen before then.
Air France-KLM's original attempt to acquire Alitalia back in 2008 became embroiled in the former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's election-winning campaign. Berlusconi was pressing for the carrier to remain under Italian ownership. After failing to secure Italian union support, Air France-KLM dropped the takeover offer, but it acquired a 25% stake when Alitalia's new owners sought a strategic partner.
A restructuring provision preventing Alitalia's shareholders from selling their stakes expired in January.