Lufthansa Group to buy 41% stake in ITA Airways
Deutsche Lufthansa will acquire 41% ITA Airways stake through capital increase of €325mn
Deutsche Lufthansa reached an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance to acquire a minority stake (41 percent) in the Italian national carrier ITA Airways for €325 million through a capital increase "fully financed from available cash-on-hand."
The capital contribution thus directly benefits the company, says a release from Lufthansa. "As part of the agreement, the MEF has also committed to a capital increase of €250 million into ITA. 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 purchase price for the remaining shares will be based on the business development of ITA Airways."
The contractual finalisation of the agreement is expected to be completed shortly. The acquisition of the minority stake is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and likely to close by the end of 2023. "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.
"ITA Airways will become the fifth network carrier in Lufthansa Group’s multi-brand and multi-hub system. Italy represents the most important market outside the Group’s home base countries and the United States. Italy is the third-largest economy in Europe 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 travellers, the Mediterranean country is one of the most popular leisure destinations in the world."
Carsten Spohr, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Lufthansa AG says: “The 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.”
ITA Airways was founded in November 2020 and has approximately 4,000 employees. Headquartered in Rome, the airline welcomes more than 10 million passengers per year and is running a modern fleet of 66 Airbus aircraft, the release added.