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Alitalia board accepts Air France-KLM’s purchase offer

MILAN, Italy — Alitalia’s board on Sunday unanimously accepted Air France-KLM’s bid valued at $1.1 billion in a move to save the struggling national carrier.

The Air France-KLM offer values the airline at $216 million, far less than expected, based on a share swap of one Air France share for every 160 Alitalia shares. The Franco-Dutch carrier also said it would pay $946 million for convertible shares.

The Franco-Dutch carrier said it would inject $1.56 billion in capital once the deal is complete.

Air France-KLM said it expected to have necessary government and regulatory approvals within the first half of 2008.

Alitalia has been losing $1.56 million a day, and its cash reserves were down to just $439 million at the end of January, nearly a 25 percent drop from a month earlier.

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