Wires

Italy auditor urges state rail group to assess Alitalia carefully

ROME, July 5 (Reuters) - An Italian auditing watchdog has warned the country's state railways group, Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), that it needs to carefully consider the economic sustainability of its offer to help rescue national airline Alitalia.

FS has teamed up with U.S. carrier Delta Airlines as prospective investors in the Italian airline, but more private investment is required in order to save Alitalia.

The Audit Court said on Friday that FS must activate "all suitable initiatives to protect the group's financial integrity, continuity and corporate development".

FS is ready to take a 35% stake in Alitalia, the Industry Ministry said on Tuesday. A stake of 10-15% would be held by Delta Airlines and a further 15% by the Economy Ministry. A fourth investor is required.

The administrators of Alitalia have set a July 15 deadline for the presentation of the bids. (Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri Editing by Mark Bendeich )