Italy government approves Alitalia offer

ROME (AP) -- Italy's Economic Development Ministry says the government has approved the sale of assets in the bankrupt Alitalia airline to a group of Italian investors for at least euro1.052 billion ($1.33 billion).

The move on Wednesday clears the way for Alitalia's administrator Augusto Fantozzi to sign a final deal with CAI Compagnia Aerea Italiana (Italian Air Company). The new airline is to launch by early December.

The ministry said in a statement that they asked CAI to raise their original euro1 billion ($1.26 billion) bid by euro52 million ($65.7 million).

CAI is still looking for a foreign carrier to take on a minority stake.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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