DALLAS – The ongoing takeover talks surrounding Italy’s ITA Airways (AZ) have taken a new turn, with the country’s Treasury and Germany’s Lufthansa Group agreeing to extend exclusivity talks from April 24 to May 12.
A source close to the matter told Reuters that the Treasury had granted Lufthansa additional time for continued talks, which are ongoing in a “constructive manner.”
Just last week, AZ chairman Antonino Turicchi said that the main elements of the deal had been put in place and that an announcement regarding the agreement was expected soon.
Focus on Price
It is believed that the German airline group is looking to initially obtain a 40% stake in ITA which would be valued at around €200m (US$220m). LH would then purchase the remaining shares at a later date.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr had previously said that the negotiations were now focused on price, owing to the continued losses experienced by the new Italian flag carrier, which replaced ailing Alitalia in October 2021.
Indeed, the airline recently announced losses of nearly half a billion Euros in its first financial year. Despite these negative numbers, Spohr remains confident that AZ can be a profitable part of the Lufthansa Group.
Featured Image: ITA Airways EI-DTG Airbus A320 ‘Friuli Venezia Giulia Livery.’ Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.