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Italy Officially Starts Process of Selling ITA Airways But Will Retain a Minority Stake

Italy Officially Starts Process of Selling ITA Airways But Will Retain a Minority Stake

a blue airplane on a runway

The Italian government has officially launched the process of finding a new majority owner of Alitalia successor ITA Airways. The government created ITA Airways after failing to sell debt-laden Alitalia and currently holds a 100% stake in the fledgling airline.

Rome now hopes it will be significantly easier to find an investor for ITA Airways because it isn’t burdened with Alitalia’s historic debt. The airline has, however, retained the right to rename itself Alitalia.

Front runners to take a stake in ITA is a joint bid from Lufthansa and shipping conglomerate MSC Group. Last month, ITA agreed to a 90 day exclusivity period with Lufthansa and MSC while they explored the feasibility of their bid.

The MSC Group is otherwise known as the Mediterranean Shipping Company with a global presence in 155 countries. It remains a privately owned company in the hands of the ultra-wealthy Aponte family with a fleet of 600 vessels and 100,000 employees.

The Geneva-based company has indicated that it would want to have more control over the airline than Lufthansa which could still provide technical expertise.

ITA was also courting Delta Air Lines but the Atlanta-based carrier has already publicly announced that it isn’t interested in bidding for ITA.

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