Investment firm Greybull Capital is mulling a bid for Italian airline Alitalia, in a move which would add another struggling airline to a portfolio which already includes British budget carrier Monarch, according to reports.
The airline went into administration in May, with rivals circling Italy’s flag-carrier after the Italian government was forced to inject €600m (£545m) to keep it flying.
A Greybull bid would only cover the engineering parts of the airline, Sky News reported, with a partner needed to continue Alitalia’s short-haul operations. The Italian government has previously indicated it will favour bids for the entire airline rather than allowing it to be broken up.
Distressed business investor Greybull is a family investment office. It is best known for its work with British Steel, a renamed Scunthorpe steelworks formerly owned by India’s Tata Steel. The steelworks returned to profit this year, aided by higher metal prices, after being bought for only £1 in 2016.
However, its investment in Monarch Group, in which Greybull is the controlling shareholder, has proven more turbulent. Greybull injected £165m into the airline in October of last year in order to secure an extension of its operating licence with the Civil Aviation Authority.
Greybull could not immediately be contacted for comment.