Lufthansa joins MSC group in bid for 40% of ITA Airways

Swiss shipping company and German airline would be in final talks ahead of an announcement, according to reports

Lufthansa and MSC’s bid for a stake in ITA Airways was considered official this week after the new carrier confirmed receipt of “Expression of Interest”. The transaction is estimated to be worth $1.4 billion, according to Bloomberg.

On Monday, ITA makes public that received the proposal. “ITA Airways is satisfied that the work carried out in recent months to offer the best prospects to the company is starting to have the expected results, providing for a company recognised as viable for partners of international reputation both in passenger and cargo transport. The Board of Directors will examine the details of the Expression of Interest in an upcoming meeting,” said the airline.

The sudden entry of the maritime transport company would involve the possibility of synergies since the group also operates in cruise trips with its transatlantic liners.

Lufthansa, on the other hand, has been sounding out the Italian government for longer, since there was an offer for Alitalia. But the German company preferred to wait for the new company, which preserved only the healthy part of the predecessor.

MSC

On the 31st of January there will be a conference of the executive committee of ITA Airways when, it is believed, there will be a conclusion on the case.

Alitalia back

The development of the negotiations with Lufthansa and now MSC comes just after an unusual news emerged last week. Citing the company’s CEO, Alfredo Altavilla, ITA said it has plans to return to using the “Alitalia” brand from March.

According to sources in the Italian press, one of the possibilities is that the well-known name is used on intercontinental routes, due to its projection. ITA acquired the rights to use the brand shortly after starting commercial operation in October.

Alitalia A330-200 (Eric Salard)

Contrary to what was expected, the new company revealed its own paint scheme and use of the “ITA Airways” brand – until then it was only referred to as ITA, an acronym for Italia Trasporto Aereo.

The formation of a new group, however, was part of the conditions imposed by the European Commission to help Alitalia, that is, it would be necessary to prove the “economic discontinuity” between the two.

Speaking to Aviation24.be, Altavilla acknowledged that the company had always intended to use the Alitalia name, possibly as a division or subsidiary of the group. ITA Airways announced a loss of 170 million euros last year.

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