Italy’s government wants to see a deal to sell the state-run flag carrier ITA Airways (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) finalised by mid-June. However, the proliferation of advisers now engaged in the privatisation process has reportedly caused clashes in the carrier’s boardroom.

The government led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi is looking for an agreement to divest of a majority stake in the Alitalia successor by or around the beginning of this summer, two unnamed sources close to the matter told Reuters on March 30. Draghi’s office declined to comment to the news agency.

Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt International) and cruise and shipping giant MSC have expressed an interest in buying a majority stake in the airline, asking for a 90-day exclusivity period to wrap up the details, but Rome has insisted on a market-based procedure to encourage other possible suitors. According to local media reports, Air France-KLM and Indigo Partners are also understood to be interested. Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) has said it is keen to deepen ties with ITA Airways but is not interested in acquiring a stake.

According to a decree adopted in February, the government aims to privatise ITA Airways by direct sale or a public offering while retaining a non-controlling minority stake.

A third source told Reuters that Italy’s Department of the Treasury, part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, had instructed consultants it had hired to review expressions of interest and draw up a shortlist of suitors who will be admitted to the data room of sensitive financial information on the company.

Last week the Treasury chose Equita, an Italian investment bank, and Gianni & Origoni, a law firm, to be its financial and legal advisers, respectively. But the airline had already chosen at the end of January the investment banks JPMorgan Chase and Mediobanca and law firms Grande Stevens and Sullivan & Cromwell to assist in the sale process.

La Stampa reported on March 30, citing sources, that this ballooning number of consultants, specifically the assignations in January, was among the reasons behind the resignations of six directors on the ITA board: Lelio Fornabaio, Alessandra Fratini, Simonetta Giordani, Cristina Girelli, Silvio Martuccelli, and Angelo Piazza. Chairman Alfredo Altavilla, CEO Fabio Lazzerini, and counsellor Frances Ouseley, formerly of Alitalia and easyJet, remain on the board.

The directors had reportedly objected to the expense of millions of euros on what could become duplicated or conflicting rounds of advice on such a sensitive issue of national importance, the newspaper said, adding that several remaining ITA directors have asked for the January resolution to be revoked.