Six board members resigned from Italian airliner ITA Airways this week in a shock move. As of now, only President Alfredo Altavilla, managing director Fabio Lazzerini and director Frances Ouseley remain in office.
A wave of resignations
The managers who resigned were former Minister for Civil Service Angelo Piazza, accountant Lelio Fornabaio, former senator Simonetta Giordani, lawyers Silvio Martuccelli and Alessandra Fratini, and the former liquidator of Air Italy Cristina Girelli.
According to sources, the mass resignations are a result of disagreements related to the new sales advisors selected to oversee the privatisation of ITA Airways, and the costs the board needed to approve to open the privatisation progress.
The Italian investment bank and law firm Gianni & Origoni would be the advisors that would aid the government (the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance) with the transfer and holding of sensitive information – a so-called “data room” – regarding the airline and the privatisation process.
Before the data room could be accessed by interested parties, representatives from the two firms would meet to discuss a share in stakes with the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance and ITA Airlines officials.
The privatisation of Italy’s flag carrier
The privatisation of ITA Airways began in February when the Italian government passed a decree which detailed plans to sell stakes in ITA Airways. This paved the way for the Italian flag carrier to give potential buyers greater information about the company, as major airlines such as Delta Airlines, Air France-KLM, and Lufthansa showed interest in owning a majority stake of the airline.
Privatisation of a company, which has always been state-owned, can be a long and complicated business. As a result, there’s likely more news to come from ITA Airways’ privatisation topic in the weeks and months to come.
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