German Lufthansa is about to acquire 40% of the capital of Alitalia’s successor, ITA – Paper | Investment News

MILAN (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa is set to acquire a 40% stake in Alitalia’s successor ITA Airways and a deal could be unveiled next week, Italian daily Il Foglio reported on Saturday.

ITA Airways began flying Oct. 15 with nearly 2,300 employees and a fleet less than half that operated by Alitalia, the 75-year-old former national carrier that has gone through a dizzying succession of restructuring and ownership changes.

The newspaper gave no price for either deal, but said the two companies were close to agreeing on some key terms, such as Rome Fiumicino Airport’s role as a hub for direct flights to Africa and some connections to the Americas.

An ITA spokesman said on Saturday that the airline’s senior management will present a strategic plan to the company’s board on Jan. 31. A data room would be open within days, he added, allowing a potential bidder or partner to access key information. financial documents to assess the value of the company.

Lufthansa declined to comment.

The report comes after sources told Reuters on January 12 that the ITA was in touch with Lufthansa, British Airways and US-based Delta Air Lines for an equity partnership, saying formal talks could begin. by the end of March.

A Lufthansa spokesperson said at the time that the German carrier was open to the possibility of a partnership with ITA.

Delta has denied that it intends to invest in ITA.

The German government currently owns 14% of Lufthansa shares following a bailout at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and aims to sell its stake by October 2023 at the latest.

The group was saved from bankruptcy by Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium thanks to financial support of 9 billion euros (10.21 billion dollars) approved by the European Commission.

A spokesman for the German economy ministry declined to comment on the Italian newspaper’s article.

A deal with the ITA would be subject to European Union competition approval, Il Foglio said.

(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; Additional reporting by Michael Nienaber and Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurt; Editing by Louise Heavens and Clelia Oziel)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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