Lufthansa officially made an offer for a minority stake in ITA Airways, the airline that replaced Alitalia in October 2021.
The movement was already expected after the Italian government approved a rule that would allow only carriers to participate in the auction for the sale of ITA shares. As a result, the Cerberus fund and its partners, Delta and Air France-KLM, were barred.
“Today, the company submitted an offer to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell’economia e delle finanze) to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this respect”, says a statement from Lufthansa.
Despite providing for the acquisition of a smaller stake in ITA Airways, Lufthansa’s proposal also includes options to purchase the remaining shares in the future.
“These 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”, added the German carrier.
For Lufthansa, Italy represents the second most important foreign market, after the United States. The company has been trying to set foot in the country for some time, including studying offers for Alitalia. It currently maintains the regional subsidiary Air Dolomiti in the region.
It is said that Lufthansa will offer between 230 million and 240 million euros for 40% of ITA Airways, which has shown continuous losses in its operation.