An agreement has been reached between the Treasury and Lufthansa for the sale of a minority stake in Ita Airways to the German group. Lufthansa will acquire 41% of Ita through a capital increase of EUR 325 million, with the option to acquire all remaining shares at a later date. The purchase price of the remaining shares will be "based on the development" of Ita Airways' business, Lufthansa explained.
As part of the agreement, the MEF has committed to a capital increase of 250 million euros, this is the third and final tranche of the total financing of 1.35 billion euros already authorized by the EU. The contractual finalization of the agreement "is expected shortly". According to what is learned, the lack of signature today would be linked only to some minor technical-legal issues. "We have worked it, we are convinced and therefore satisfied. Today marks the end of a journey in the history of the national flag carrier, which has led to the prospect of integration with an important European carrier", said the Minister of Economy, Giancarlo Giorgetti. "If they are roses they will bloom," he told reporters after meeting Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, ITA chairman Antonino Turicchi and former Air Dolomiti boss Joerg Eberhart at the MEF. "With this government today a knot is solved that for thirty years has conditioned the air transport market in Italy. We are convinced that this decision will allow the aviation market to develop in the interest of Italy", underlined the minister.
"Today's agreement will lead to a win-win situation for Italy, Ita Airways and the Lufthansa Group. This is good news for Italian consumers and for Europe, because a stronger ITA will strengthen competition in the Italian market." At the same time "as a young company, with a modern fleet and with its own efficient and expanding hub in Rome, ITA is the perfect solution for the Lufthansa group", added Spohr, also speaking of Milan where ITA "covers a large catchment area that also offers growth potential". And "as part of the Lufthansa group family, ITA can transform itself into a sustainable and profitable airline, connecting Italy with Europe and the world," the CEO of the German giant stressed. After signing, the agreement must be given the green light by the Court of Auditors, the Italian Antitrust Authority and the EU Antitrust. The development strategy of Ita Airways "will continue to be shared by the two shareholders, Mef and Lufthansa", says the Treasury in a note in which it speaks of employment and renewal of the fleet, not the amount paid by Lufthansa with a capital increase that in fact leaves the resources within the company, favoring its development but without these becoming a disposal that reduces public debt, As has happened in the past with other divestitures. The company's business plan, explains the MEF, forecasts a growth in revenues of 2.5 billion euros this year and 4.1 billion for 2027. These results "will allow the growth and renewal of the fleet, which at the end of 2027 will count 94 aircraft compared to the current 71, with an average age of five years" while "the staff, expected this year at 4,300 units thanks to the 1,200 hires being perfected, will rise to over 5,500 at the end of the plan", specifies the Ministry. Ita Airways' strategy "aims to establish itself as a reference player among full service carriers in the three intercontinental, international and domestic sectors, with particular attention to long-haul traffic", explains the Ministry of Via XX Settembre. And this strategic repositioning will also allow "to further strengthen the traffic of the Rome Fiumicino hub, which will play a central role in the Lufthansa Group's multi-hub model".