Lufthansa becomes minority shareholder in ITA

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Lufthansa has agreed to acquire 41% of Italian carrier ITA and could in the future purchase the rest of the state-owned airline.

Deutsche Lufthansa today reached an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to acquire the stake through a €325m capital increase.

As part of the agreement, the MEF has also committed to a capital increase of €250m into ITA.

The two also agreed on options to enable a potential acquisition of the remaining shares by Lufthansa at a later date.

The acquisition of the minority stake is subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Deutsche Lufthansa, said: “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.”

Lufthansa Cargo “warmly welcomed” ITA Airways to the Lufthansa Group family.

“This investment is a great opportunity for Italy, ITA Airways and Lufthansa Group to strengthen the important Italian market for aviation and to develop it in joint cooperation,” the cargo business said in a LinkedIn update.

The addition of ITA marks the fifth network carrier and sixth hub into the Lufthansa Group. Alongside the German carrier’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs, the group includes the Brussels, Vienna and Zurich hubs of Brussels Airlines, Austrain Airlines and Swiss International.

At one stage, Lufthansa had teamed up with shipping giant MSC in a joint bid to acquire the Italian airline, although the deal eventually fell through and MSC set up its own freighter airline.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]