DALLAS — Deutsche Lufthansa AG intends to acquire a stake in Italian national carrier ITA Airways (AZ). Lufthansa AG’s goal is to agree on an initial minority stake acquisition now with options to purchase the remaining AZ shares at a later date.
Lufthansa AG made the offer to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell’economia e delle finanze) today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.
Further negotiations and discussions would take place on an exclusive basis if both parties signed this MoU, according to the German airline group.
These discussions would primarily revolve around the structure of a potential equity investment, the commercial and operational integration of ITA into the Lufthansa Airline Group, and the resulting synergies. The Lufthansa AG press release notes that if a binding agreement is reached, its implementation is subject to approval by the appropriate authorities.
Outside of its home markets and the United States, Italy is the most important market for Lufthansa Group. The importance of Italy for both business and leisure travel stems from its strong export-oriented economy and status as one of Europe’s top vacation destinations.
Featured image: ITA Airways Airbus A319 (EI-IMN). Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways