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Etihad to Buy 49% Stake in Alitalia to Expand Global Reach

Alitalia SpA and Etihad Airways PJSC agreed the terms of a stake purchase giving the Middle Eastern airline 49 percent of the unprofitable Italian carrier and access to one of Europe’s biggest travel markets.

The two airlines will complete final documents, they said today. Etihad will invest about 560 million euros ($762 million) and create a company for Alitalia’s operating assets, said two people familiar with the matter. The carrier will pay about 400 million euros for the stake and will also buy a majority in the company that runs Alitalia loyalty program, said the people, who asked not to be named as the talks is private.