Air France-KLM says not in Alitalia buyout talks

PARIS Mon Jan 7, 2013 5:28pm IST

An Alitalia airplane is seen at the airport in Cairo January 20, 2011. Italy signed an agreement on Thursday with Egypt Air to carry out maintenance work for its Alitalia aircraft. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

An Alitalia airplane is seen at the airport in Cairo January 20, 2011. Italy signed an agreement on Thursday with Egypt Air to carry out maintenance work for its Alitalia aircraft.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) denied a newspaper report that it was in advanced talks to buy out Italian investors in Alitalia to take control of Italy's flag carrier.

"Air France-KLM confirms that there are no negotiations on the purchase of all or part of the shares held by Italian investors," a spokeswoman for the Franco-Dutch airline said on Monday.

Il Messaggero reported that Air France-KLM, which has held 25 percent of Alitalia since January 2009, would offer remaining shareholders a 20 percent premium on what they paid in 2008.

In May, Air France said it would probably wait until at least 2014 before using its option to take control of Alitalia.

(Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Christian Plumb)