The Italian Government has officially entered talks with Lufthansa to sell a minority stake of its fledgling national carrier ITA Airways.
Italy’s finance ministry Giancarlo Giorgetti on Friday (27 January) signed a memorandum of understanding proposed by the German carrier, marking the beginning of “exclusive” negotiations.
The Italian Treasury confirmed the MOU signing, but stated “no other details on the ongoing discussion will be disclosed".
Lufthansa submitted an offer to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance 18 January detailing its plan to agree the purchase of an initial 40 per cent shareholding in ITA – valued at an estimated 250-300 million euros, according to local news reports – with options to buy the remaining 60 per cent at a later date.
The Italian government has been looking to sell a stake in ITA, which was established in October 2021 after the closure of legacy carrier Alitalia in August 2021 following years of financial problems.
In early September 2022, the former Draghi government announced it had entered into “exclusive talks” with a consortium formed by Delta Airlines, Air France-KLM and US investment fund Certares for the purchase of ITA in preference to a rival bid from Lufthansa and shipping company MSC Group.
Following Italy’s new Meloni government taking power in October, media reports suggested that the Ministry of Economy and Finance had recommenced talks with Lufthansa over ITA.