Italy Chooses Bid by US Fund, Delta, Air France To Take Over ITA

Sept. 1, 2022

Rome — A bid by US investment fund Certares, in partnership with Delta Airlines and Air France-KLM, for exclusive talks to take over Italian airline ITA airways got the nod from the Italian Economy Ministry on Wednesday.

That means German group Lufthansa and its partner, shipping company MSC, are not at the negotiation table for now.

The ministry said that Certares' offer was more in line with the requirements that the government had formulated in February for a takeover of Alitalia's successor.

After the negotiations with Certares, binding sales contracts will only be signed if the government is satisfied with the details, it further said.

Lufthansa said it took note of the govenment's decision, but continues to believe "that our offer would have offered better prospects for ITA," a spokesperson said.

He added that the German airline is to intensify its activities in the Italian market. That includes strengthening the fleet of its partner, Air Dolomiti.

Until recently, the bid from Lufthansa and MSC was considered the favourite. The duo wanted to take over 80% of the shares in ITA for around €850 million ($851.2 million), according to media reports.

Accordingly, Certares made an offer for about 55% of the shares, but granting the Italian government a say in decisions.

©2022 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.