This had been rumoured for quite some time now. The Lufthansa Group has announced that it will acquire a 41% stake in Italy’s ITA Airways, which is the successor of the former Italian flag carrier Alitalia.
ITA Airways minority stake sold
Lufthansa has signed an agreement with Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze, MEF) to acquire a minority stake in the Italian national carrier ITA Airways. The group will acquire a 41% stake in ITA Airways for 325 million euros through a capital increase.
As part of the agreement, the MEF has also committed to a capital increase of 250 million euros into ITA Airways. In addition, the MEF and Lufthansa agreed on options to enable a potential acquisition of the remaining shares by Lufthansa at a later date. The group says that the purchase price for the remaining shares will be based on the business development of ITA Airways.
Upon closing of this transaction, ITA Airways and Lufthansa Group are expected to immediately start their cooperation at a commercial and operational level. As a network airline, ITA will closely cooperate with Lufthansa Group to benefit from group synergies.
Today’s agreement will lead to a win-win situation for Italy, ITA Airways and Lufthansa Group. And it is good news for Italian consumers and for Europe, because a stronger ITA will invigorate competition in the Italian market. As a young company with a modern fleet, and with its efficient and expanding hub in Rome, ITA is a perfect fit for Lufthansa Group. In Milan, ITA serves a strong catchment area which also offers potential for growth. As part of the Lufthansa Group family, ITA can develop into a sustainable and profitable airline, connecting Italy with Europe and the world. At the same time, this investment will enable us to continue our growth in one of our most important markets.said Carsten Spohr, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
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ITA Airways will become the fifth network carrier in Lufthansa Group’s multi-brand and multi-hub system. The group says that Italy represents the most important market outside the Group’s home base countries and the United States. Italy is the third-largest economy in the EU in terms of gross domestic product, with a strong export-oriented economy. This is one among many reasons why business travel to and from Italy is important. For private travelers, the Mediterranean country is one of the most popular leisure destinations in the world.
As part of Lufthansa Group, ITA will remain a standalone airline with its own management and a strong brand identity – in line with Lufthansa Group’s successful multi-hub, multi-brand and multi-AOC strategy. At the same time, ITA can benefit from synergies of the Group, such as access to the partner network, central revenue management and the use of Lufthansa Group’s global sales and marketing channels.
To ensure that ITA’s growth is sustainable, Lufthansa Group intends to extend the intermodal transport for feeder traffic within Italy. For this purpose, Lufthansa Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian state railroad company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. last February. The aim of the partnership is to increasingly transport passengers in Italy with rail connections to and from their respective flight connections at various Italian airports. Lufthansa Group already operates similar intermodal cooperation programs in its home markets, including Deutsche Bahn, Austrian ÖBB and Swiss Federal Railways.
Featured image by AviationSource News
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