Shareholders support Alitalia rescue deal

<p>A deal to rescue Alitalia has been backed by shareholders.</p>

Shareholders of the stricken Italian airline Alitalia have backed a rescue plan for the firm.

It was announced by the company that its shareholders have supported a move to issue new shares worth a total of 300 million euros (£255 million).

As part of plans to save the struggling airline, shareholders have now been given a month to decide whether or not they want to back the share issue.

Alitalia's board agreed last week to support a 500 million euro rescue package, with the share issue being the biggest component of the deal.

It was recently announced that Poste SpA – the Italian postal service – has agreed to help out the airline through a cash injection.

Alitalia is thought to need to raise 455 million euros if it is to stay afloat and the office of the Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said: "The government values Alitalia as a strategic asset for the country."

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