Lufthansa Group and MSC make joint bid for ITA Airways

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German airline Lufthansa has submitted a joint bid with Switzerland-headquartered shipping firm Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) for a stake in Italian airline ITA Airways, according to media reports.

Air Cargo News first reported that the MSC Group aimed to work with Lufthansa to acquire a majority stake in ITA in January.

In February, the Italian government began the process of finding a partner for ITA, confirming that it would maintain a minority stake.

MSC Group has confirmed its expression of interest to Air Cargo News.

In a statement on May 24, it said: “The MSC Group aims to create a partnership with the Italian Government and Lufthansa as the project’s industrial partner. Lufthansa has already expressed its interest in taking part in the initiative.

“MSC Group’s interest derives from the possibility of activating positive synergies for both companies in the cargo and passenger sectors where the MSC Group is a global leader.”

Neither Lufthansa or MSC has stated what the offer comprises of, however, Air Cargo News’ sister title FlightGlobal said: “Reports suggest Lufthansa will look to take a 20% stake in ITA while MSC will hold a 60% shareholding under the joint offer; the remaining 20% would be held by the Italian state.”

Italy has not confirmed how many bids it received by the May 23 deadline, but Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera has reported the only other firm bid came from private equity firm Cetares, understood to be working with SkyTeam partners Air France-KLM and Delta as part of its offer.

Air Cargo News has contacted Lufthansa for comment.

MSC and Lufthansa require an exclusivity period of 90 business days.

ITA Airways commenced operations in October 2021 and is the successor company to state-owned Alitalia (which ceased operations in October 2021).

The company is wholly owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance.

MSC and Lufthansa eye ITA Airways

Italian government kicks off ITA sale

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]