Lufthansa Looks to Slowly Acquire ITA Airways in Latest Offer Across Europe

Lufthansa submits offer to acquire part of ITA Airways

German air transport giant Lufthansa announced on Wednesday (18.01.2023) that it had submitted an offer to the Italian government to acquire a part of the capital of the national airline ITA Airways. According to Bloomberg News, Lufthansa could pay up to 350 million euros ($375 million) for a 40% stake.

The previous Italian government had begun the process of selling the majority of ITA Airways, successor to the loss-making national airline Alitalia. Once both parties sign the memorandum, negotiations and discussions will continue exclusively.

The government of then Prime Minister Mario Draghi had initially preferred an offer from the US investment fund Certares, Delta Air Lines, and Air France-KLM. When negotiations failed to advance, however, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing cabinet declared at the end of October that the period of exclusivity had ended, bringing Lufthansa back into the bid.

On Wednesday, Air France-KLM informed the Italian government that it was withdrawing from the bid, leaving the way clear for the German rival.

“It is a matter, initially, of acquiring a minority part and agreeing on options to purchase the remaining parts at a later date,” the group said in a statement. “These discussions will mainly focus on the form of a possible capital investment, the commercial and operational integration of ITA into the Lufthansa Airline group, as well as the resulting synergies,” the statement added.

For Lufthansa, Italy is the most important market outside of its home markets and the United States.

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