ITA Chairman Welcomes MSC, Lufthansa Offer - Handelsblatt

By Dave Simpson
ITA Chairman Welcomes MSC, Lufthansa Offer - Handelsblatt

ITA chairman Alfredo Altavilla has welcomed an approach by Swiss-based shipping group MSC and German carrier Lufthansa to buy the majority of Alitalia successor ITA Airways, he told Germany's Handelsblatt.

"I am very pleased about this expression of interest," Altavilla told the Handelsblatt daily.

MSC said on Monday January 24 that it and Lufthansa want to buy a majority stake in ITA Airways and have asked for an exclusivity period of 90 days to study the deal.

Lufthansa confirmed on Tuesday January 25 that it is in talks with MSC and that it is a potential partner in the shipping group's possible acquisition of a majority state in ITA.

"Very Convincing" And "Extremely Interesting"

Altavilla told the newspaper that the industrial logic of the offer is "very convincing" and "extremely interesting", noting that he sees synergies in the cargo business.



"Cargo is now the sector where the highest margins are made," he said, adding that this could also help Milan Malpensa Airport, which has long played an important role in the Italian cargo business.

"A Reasonable Period Of Time To Reach A Result"

He added that if the Italian government grants MSC and Lufthansa exclusive talks, 90 days is "a reasonable period of time to reach a result".


Two sources told Reuters on Sunday January 23 that Lufthansa was in talks to buy 40% in ITA Airways.

Studying Financial Data And Exploring Options

MSC said on Monday January 24 that it and Lufthansa will decide their respective involvement in the deal after studying financial data of the Italian airline.

"We will use the next 90 days to explore all possible options for cooperation, including a possible equity investment," said the German airline on Tuesday January 25.


Tried But Failed To Clinch Successful Alliances

In past decades troubled airline Alitalia tried but failed to a clinch successful alliance with Air France and, more recently, with Arab Emirates' Ethiad.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.