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Europe Top News and Analysis Italy

  • The Italian government is studying alternatives regarding the future of the troubled airline Alitalia if the privatization of the company fails, the daily Il Sole 24 Ore said without giving a source.

  • Parmalat can be sued by shareholders in a suit involving its predecessor company, Parmalat Finanziaria's collapse into bankruptcy in 2003, a judge ruled.

  • Russian airline Aeroflot pulled out of the bidding for Alitalia on Wednesday, leaving Rome's auction of the unprofitable airline in danger of collapse with just two players left.

  • The London Stock Exchange is to buy its Italian counterpart for 1.6 billion euros ($2.15 billion), the two exchanges confirmed in a statement on Saturday, the latest step in a global nsolidation of exchanges.

  • Borsa Italiana has backed a 1.6 billion euro ($2.14 billion) takeover by the London Stock Exchange, said a person close to the situation, bringing closer a deal that could boost the LSE's own bid defenses.

  • Alitalia's auction risks fizzling out altogether as it enters the final stretch, leaving the Italian government with the bleak prospect of pumping more cash into the unprofitable airline to keep it flying.

  • French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in an interview published Friday that decisions on the future of state-owned Gaz de France -- including whether to go ahead with its merger with Suez -- will be made "in the coming weeks."

  • Four international banks were indicted in Milan Wednesday on charges related to the 2003 failure of the Parmalat dairy empire, Europe's largest corporate bankruptcy.

  • Big business is on the back burner at the Group of Eight summit. Instead of focusing on concerns about hedge funds, fluctuating currencies and better transparency in financial dealings, the world's eight wealthiest nations are putting their full focus on climate change and watching to see if a new spat between the U.S. and Russia could develop into another cold war.

  • Italy's Enel, which is poised to take over Spain's biggest utility, will expand its presence in Russia after it beat rivals to buy a one-quarter stake in the Russian wholesale generation company OAO OGK-5 for about $1.52 billion.

  • England's Premiership soccer players will earn more than 1 billion pounds ($1.97 billion) for the first time next season thanks to television, sponsorship and merchandising deals, a top accountancy firm said on Thursday.

  • A consortium led by U.S. private equity company TPG has withdrawn from a bid for Alitalia, leaving just two possible buyers for the Italian state's controlling stake in the loss-making airline.

  • Twin strikes stranded thousands of Alitalia passengers on Tuesday, as the Italian government said it was willing to quit the state-controlled airline by selling its entire 49.9% stake.

  • The boards of Banca Popolare di Milano and Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna have approved a 5.45 billion euro deal that will create Italy's sixth-largest bank in the continuing consolidation of Italy's banking sector.

  • Italy's UniCredit has agreed to buy smaller rival Capitalia for more than $29 billion in shares to create Europe's second biggest bank, with branches stretching from Sicily to Eastern Europe.

  • Private equity firm Permira is in exclusive talks to buy more than half of famed Italian fashion house Valentino, it said on Friday, dimming the chances of a bid battle with U.S. rival Carlyle.

  • U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group is set to challenge Permira for control of Valentino by offering 36 euros per share, a financial source said, sending shares in the Italian fashion group to a record high.

  • The boards of UniCredit and Capitalia may meet as early as Sunday to approve a deal that would create the euro zone's largest bank by market value, Italian newspapers said on Thursday.

  • Permira is to buy a 29.6% stake in Valentino, one of the world's top fashion houses, for 782.6 million euros ($1.06 billion), joining a small number of private equity firms in the luxury brand business.

  • The newly merged Intesa Sanpaolo reported soaring first-quarter profits due to capital gains of about 3 billion euros  ($4 billion) from the sale of its CariParma and FriulAdria units to French bank Credit Agricole.