German flag carrier Lufthansa confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to acquire a minority stake in Italy’s ITA Airways and hopes to eventually absorb the whole company into its portfolio of airline brands which already include Austrian, SWISS and Brussels Airlines.
The airline group said it has just submitted an offer to Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance in a bid to win exclusivity in continuing talks to takeover ITA Airways.
If both parties sign a memorandum of understanding agreeing to exclusive talks, further negotiations and discussions will be needed before any deal can close.
Lufthansa did not disclose the size of the minority stake it is initially seeking in ITA Airways or how much it planned to spend to win a stake in the carrier.
In a statement, Lufthansa said negotiations 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,” the statement continued.
There is no estimated date for when these negotiations may conclude. It was first revealed that Lufthansa was interested in acquiring a stake in ITA Airways when it partnered with the European shipping giant MSC in January 2022.
In November, the MSC Group abandoned hopes of snapping up the Italian carrier, and it was widely believed that a consortium including Delta and Air France were frontrunners to take over the airline.
But Lufthansa decided to submit a solo bid, with a spokesperson saying Italy was the “most important market” for the airline group outside of its home markets and the United States.
“Italy’s importance for both business and private travel lies in its strong export-oriented economy and status as one of Europe’s top vacation spots,” a statement continued.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.