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Air France-KLM denies Alitalia bailout talks

PLANE SILHOUETTEPARIS, Jan 7 – The Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM on Monday denied a newspaper report that it was concluding talks to buy out Italian investors in flagship carrier Alitalia.

“There have been no negotiations concerning the purchase of all or part of the shares held by Italian investors,” said a company spokesman.

Air France chief Alexandre de Juniac added: “Air France and KLM have very limited means which do not permit us to make these operations.”

Air France-KLM has held a 25 percent stake in Alitalia since 2009. It said last month that it did not plan to increase its equity in the airline.

Alitalia is once more on the verge of bankruptcy. It has two options: either being re-nationalised or ceded in a cut-rate deal to Air France-KLM, which in 2008 had offered 2.5 billion euros ($3.26 billion) for the troubled airline.

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