A 40% investment by Lufthansa in ITA is imminent

Lufthansa, the largest German airline, is «willing» to buy a 40% stake in ITA Airways, Alitalia’s successor. The deal could be near completion, with the tentative date set for the week of January 25, according to Reuters.

ITA Airways began flying on October 15 with just a fraction of the historic Italian carrier’s operation: the airline currently employs around 2,300 people (less than a quarter of the nearly 11,000 that its predecessor had) and has a fleet of less than half the number of aircraft, mostly narrow-body aircraft used for regional flights.

The value of the transaction is not known at this time. According to the publication, the two companies «are very close to reaching an agreement» on some central points of the deal, such as the role of Fiumicino airport in the airline’s operation.

See also: IAG shows interest in ITA Airways and stands in Lufthansa’s way

En los próximos días se abrirá una «sala interna de datos» en ITA, lo que permitirá a un potencial inversor tener acceso a documentos financieros clave para evaluar el valor de la compañía.

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The report comes a week after a rumor emerged that ITA had «tempted» Lufthansa, British Airways, and U.S.-based Delta Air Lines into a partnership. A Lufthansa spokesman had indicated at the time that the German airline was «open» to the possibility of some kind of tie-up with ITA. Delta, for its part, denied any interest in the Italian carrier.

Should an agreement be reached, it would be subject to further approval by the European Union’s Directorate-General for Competition.

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