to the Germans immediately 40% - Corriere.it
The Ministry of Economy and Lufthansa have reached an agreement on the future of Ita Airways. After weeks of negotiations, steps back and forth, brakes, thousands of pages consulted in the data room, dozens of technical sessions, confidential meetings in Rome and Frankfurt, the two parties are preparing to sign the agreement on Thursday 25 May which will bring the airline German - progenitor of the homonymous group - to enter the capital of the Italian carrier initially with a share of up to 40%, to later rise to at least 90%. Darling, Lufthansa and Ita are not commenting.
The operation would follow what was anticipated in the past few weeks: Lufthansa should enter Italy through a reserved capital increase - as envisaged by the latest privatization decree - reaching up to 40% of the Italian carrier. The Germans initially proposed an initial investment of 250 million, but after lengthy negotiations the figure rose to 320-330 million. In the first half of 2026 - with ITA which should record its first operating breakeven - Lufthansa will be able to trigger the clause which provides for the purchase of another 50-55% for around 500 million euros. At that point, 5-10% would remain in the ministry.
The agreement — unblocked this week after intense work by the legal offices — will have to be approved by the EU Antitrust which could require 3-4 months of investigations. The competition authority for the Community market - sources from Brussels explain - has already anticipated to the two parties a block of requests that will be forwarded, including the estimate of the corrective operations that ITA and Lufthansa will have to carry out to avoid situations of monopoly or almost: between these operations will also include the transfer of slots in some European airports, such as those of Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino.
The next board
The Ministry of the Economy paid 1.12 billion euros into the company's coffers out of a total of 1.35 billion authorized by the EU Antitrust. The remainder should thus be disbursed by September of this year. A few days after the agreement, the shareholders' meeting of Ita should be convened - led by the executive president Antonino Turicchi, chosen by the minister Giancarlo Giorgetti - for the appointment of the new board of directors where at least two members out of the five total should change.
Once the go-ahead from the EU has been obtained, the Germans will be able to start managing the company, optimizing the network of connections, improving commercial activities and on the cost side, starting to integrate the company into the network of Lufthansa first and then Star Alliance . The first task for it will be to curb losses. Ita Airways comes from a first complicated period on the side of the accounts. The Italian airline, which took off on 15 October 2021, closed with a loss of almost 148 million in the first two and a half months of activity, rising to 486 million in 2022. In the first three months of this year, a negative Ebitda of 151 million was recorded against 398 million in revenues.