ITA Airways to open data room for privatisation next week - sources

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FILE PHOTO: ITA Airways presents new fleet of aircraft at Fiumicino airport

MILAN (Reuters) - State-owned ITA Airways will make its financial data available for suitors from next week, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, as the Italian government tries to speed up the privatisation of the successor to Alitalia.

The sources told Reuters that all three consortia that expressed interest in buying a majority stake in the airline will be admitted to ITA's data room despite a request from one of the suitors, shipping group MSC, for exclusive talks.

MSC teamed up with Germany's Lufthansa and presented a bid in January, indicating it was ready to offer more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for the carrier.

U.S. fund Certares and Wizz Air investor Indigo Partners have also expressed their interest in the airline in recent days, sources have said.

ITA started flying in place of Alitalia in October, permanently grounding the 75-year-old, one-time symbol of Italian style and glamour after years of financial losses and failed rescue attempts.

Last month the Treasury picked Equita and Gianni & Origoni as financial and legal advisers for the privatisation of ITA Airways, which is fully owned by the government.

The carrier has lined up JPMorgan and Mediobanca to help on the search for private investors.

($1 = 0.9217 euros)

(Reporting by Francesca Landini and Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Keith Weir)

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