More than Ita, Lufthansa: there is a signature, the Germans with 300 million take 40% of the company
For the wedding of Ita Airways and Lufthansa it is a matter of hours. Tomorrow or Friday, at the latest, the Economy Ministry will announce the entry of the German carrier into the capital of the former Alitalia. An operation that will definitively close the start-up phase and start the process of leaving the state from the airline. A troubled and painful passage. First the Draghi government granted - in September 2022 - exclusivity to the American Certares fund, then the Meloni government, which had just taken office, dropped the terms of the offer, reopening the way for the MSC-Lufthansa consortium which, however, in the meantime had lost the support of the Aponte family leaving the Germans alone to deal with the Treasury. A difficult negotiation that required more time than expected: from mid-April we arrived at the end of May. An extension due to legal aspects and the evaluation of Ita.
If it is true that the value of the Italian company has dropped significantly compared to one billion two hundred million at the beginning of 2022, it is equally true that the numbers for the first months of this year, together with the prospects for the summer, are better than expected. Enough for the executive to ask for a relaunch of the economic proposal. The agreement was reached on a valuation that fluctuates between 750 and 800 million euros, more than the 600 million assumed at the beginning of the year. Entry into the capital will take place through a reserved capital increase: by paying between 300 and 320 million euros, therefore, Lufthansa will rise to 40% of Ita's capital.
And if on the economic evaluation front the Germans have accepted the Italian request, on the legal one they have been adamant asking for a series of guarantees that protect the new shareholders in the face of any future disputes. In particular, they fear the - remote - risk that some continuity with the old Alitalia may be recognized and that unforeseen disputes may emerge. A danger from which Ita will protect herself by signing an ad hoc insurance policy. Furthermore, some uncertainties also weigh on the company's valuation. As if to say that Lufthansa wants to protect itself from any risk. After signing the contract, a few months will pass before the closing, while for Lufthansa's rise to 51% it will be necessary to wait for the company's return to profit, within a couple of years: the Mef, on the other hand, will definitively exit the capital within five years . Meanwhile, the numbers are beginning to prove the company led by CEO Fabio Lazzerini right: in the first quarter of 2023, the company returned to generating cash. Not enough to break even at the end of the year, but a positive sign. Furthermore, revenues amounted to 345 million euros, 1.5% more than previous estimates, with a forecast of 2.5 billion by the end of the year, 2.2 of which from passengers.