Airlines Lufthansa submits offer to acquire minority stake in ITA

Germany´s largest carrier Lufthansa has officially launched a bid to acquire a stake in ITA Airways.

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Deutsche Lufthansa AG has submitted a bid to acquire a minority stake in Italian flag-carrier ITA Airways. After days of rumors, the airline group has now released an official statement that the company submitted an offer to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell'economia e delle finanze).

The offer was made with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), if both parties sign this MoU, further negotiations and discussion will be conducted, Lufthansa stated. According to media reports, Lufthansa´s proposal includes a two-step investment plan and is working with a market valuation for ITA with 500 Million Euro, which is less than at the first bid last year.

On the possibility of agreeing a deal, Lufthansa stated: “[…] Talks would primarily focus on the form of a possible equity investment, the commercial and operational integration of ITA into the Lufthansa Airline Group, as well as resulting synergies. In case of a binding agreement is reached, its implementation would be subject to approval by the relevant authorities.”

Time is getting short for Italy as Lufthansa currently is the only bidding party for the financially battered state-owned airline. The government seeks to now examine the offer from Germany.

Italy is an important market for Lufthansa. The airline group has already acquired Air Dolomiti, the airline operates flights from Frankfurt and Munich to destinations in South and East Europe. Over the course of the bid, it could also be possible that Lufthansa seeks to connect the state-owned train company Ferrovie dello Stato to ITA, just like Lufthansa is well connected to Deutsche Bahn in Germany over its “Rail&Fly” programme.

ITA Airways is the predecessor from Alitalia and started operations in October 2021. The fleet includes 66 aircraft, including four A220s, 17 A319s, 27 A320s, six A330s and four A350 XWBs. The carrier is an all-Airbus operator.

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