Alitalia auction crashes(2)

Italy’s Treasury has closed the auction to privatize Alitalia, following the abandonment of its last remaining suitor, distressed private equity firm Matlin Patterson.

Troubled Italian airline Alitalia is officially off the auction block, after its last remaining potential buyer, US firm Matlin Patterson, failed to submit a bid.

“The ministry, having ascertained that Matlin Patterson does not intend to present a binding offer in the current privatisation procedure for Alitalia, declares the procedure closed,” the Ministry of the Economy said in a statement.

Distressed specialist Matlin Patterson was the final firm to walk away from the bidding. Yesterday, a consortium anchored by Italian airline AirOne pulled out of the bidding, after which the ministry said Matlin Patterson was still a potential bidder.

The distressed-focused firm was previously part of a consortium consisting of private equity firm TPG and Italian bank Mediobanca. The group abandoned the auction in May, citing inability to comply with government-imposed restrictions on the sale.