Source AP ©

Milan stock exchange: Alitalia shares up before bid deadline

Alitalia shares were up Monday before the expiration of a deadline to submit bids to the Italian government for the struggling airline.

Shares were trading up 2 percent at EUR1.032 (US$1.40) on the Milan stock exchange.

The three final bidders have until the end of the work day to submit final nonbinding offers for the airline.

The bidders are: Italy's Unicredit SpA and Russian airline Aeroflot; New York-based asset management group Matlin Patterson Global Advisers LLC and Texas Pacific Group pooling their bid with Italian investment bank Mediobanca; and AP Holding SpA, led by Carlo Toto, chairman of Air One.

Italy, which controls a 49.9 percent share of Alitalia, intends to sell at least a 39.9 percent share to a buyer with a turnaround plan. Under the latest terms outlined by the government, bidders must guarantee Alitalia will retain an Italian identity for at least eight years and set out terms of a business plan to turn around the airline.

The government wants to complete the privatization by the end of June.

Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems

Israel vows to destroy Russia's S-300 in Syria in case of danger
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