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Alitalia CEO denies reported deadline for Etihad deal

A newspaper reported said Etihad Airways had given Alitalia until Monday to agree to the tie-up or else the Gulf carrier's proposal would no longer stand

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Alitalia Chief Executive Gabriele Del Torchio denied a newspaper report on Friday that Etihad Airways had set a deadline of July 28 to agree its planned merger with the troubled Italian carrier.

"That's not what I understand," he told reporters before a shareholder meeting.

In an un-sourced report, the Corriere della Sera daily reported that Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan had given Alitalia until Monday to agree to the tie-up or else the Gulf carrier's proposal would no longer stand.

Separately a shareholder, who declined to be quoted by name, said Friday's meeting would only approve a planned capital increase of up to 250 million euros ($336.58 million) and sign off on last year's accounts. Investors will not sign off on an accord with Etihad, he added.