Bidder Follies at Alitalia

According to the Financial Times today,

“The Italian government surprised everyone this week by revealing that 11 potential bidders for the ailing Alitalia had submitted expressions of interest. This was far more than expected but also owed something to lax checking of candidates.

Happily, that meant that along with global powerhouses such as Texas Pacific, UniCredit and a group featuring Goldman Sachs, there was Fabio Scaccia, who teaches aviation at a technical institute south of Rome.

Scaccia, whose name was third on the official press release from the Treasury ministry, was surfing the internet, saw details of the sale and submitted his bid to Merrill Lynch, which is advising the government. The requirement that bidders have assets worth at least 100 million euros seems to have been waived in his case.

He said on Tuesday his bid was an orderly protest about years of mismanagement at the airline, which is losing over 1 million euros a day.

“I did it out of indignation not because I really want to buy [Alitalia]. I wish! I don’t have enough money for that, I’m a teacher and my wife’s a housewife.”

It will be up to all those real financial bidders at least to show they know as much about air travel as Scaccia, who says he’s studied aeronautics for 30 years.”

Heck, we could have submitted a bid. Drat.

Wait. What am I thinking?