here are the 3 knots to untie - Corriere.it
The negotiations between the Treasury and Lufthansa on the future of Ita Airways have entered their final and, precisely for this reason, the most delicate phase. In the radio silence imposed by the government, the parties are working to reach the signing of the preliminary agreement - which provides for the entry into the minority of the German company - by the end of March, but it is not excluded that the agreement slips by a few days, on the eve of Easter. Barring unforeseen events.
On January 27, the Ministry of the Economy and Lufthansa agreed to 60 (working) days of exclusive negotiations - the deadline would therefore fall on April 21 - with the aim of allowing the Germans to enter Italy with a minority stake (around 40%) which, in perspective, should reach 100%. As explained from Frankfurt, negotiations are underway regarding the possible form of participation, the commercial and operational integration of ITA in Lufthansa and the resulting synergies.
Negotiations are constant, explain al Courier government sources, and are proceeding as planned. In short, there is cautious optimism on the outcome, even if more than someone filters out the risk that those who oppose privatization might try to divert the deal. In recent days, Harry Hohmeister – member of the Lufthansa group board of directors and head of the Global Markets & Network department – went down to the capital to review the dossier.
The topics on the table
From what has been learned, there are still three knots to untie, perhaps as early as next week. The first concerns the amount that Lufthansa will propose for the capital increase that will bring it to 40% of Ita: the estimate of 200-250 million euros. The second node on the transatlantic market and on the evolution it must have with regard to the routes between Italy and the USA/Canada. The third node touches on some aspects of the preliminary contract for the entry of the Germans into the tricolor carrier: in short, certain passages of the shareholders' agreements should be - depending on the interlocutor on the table - perfected or smoothed out.
The urgency of a partner
For Palazzo Chigi and the Treasury, Ita urgently needs a solid industrial partner who will offer it a future and the possibility of entering a larger and more international context. Also because there is still one last capital increase, public, of 250 million euros. And that shareholder, they are convinced, is precisely the Lufthansa group (which also includes Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Air Dolomiti). As well as the conviction of everyone, in Rome as in Frankfurt, that the Italian-German marriage is destined to change the balance in the European skies.