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The EU Commission Approves Lufthansa Group’s Acquisition of 41 Percent Stake in ITA Airways

The Lufthansa Group has received approval from the EU Commission for their acquisition of a 41 percent stake in Italian flag carrier ITA Airways.  Subject to closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in Q4 2024.


Deutsche Lufthansa AG Receives EU Commission Approval to Acquire Minority Stake in ITA Airways - Courtesy Lufthansa

On Wednesday (July 3, 2024), The Lufthansa Group announced that the EU Commission has approved their acquisition of a 41 percent stake in ITA Airways, the flag carrier of Italy.  The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024, and Lufthansa has planned a swift integration of the carrier in the Group.


In Wednesday’s announcement, Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s Chief Executive Officer, Carsten Spohr, said,


“The approval from Brussels is excellent news for ITA Airways and Lufthansa and especially for all passengers flying to and from Italy.  We look forward to welcoming ITA Airways and its outstanding employees as a new member of our airline family very soon.  The decision is also a clear signal for strong air traffic in Europe, which can successfully assert itself in global competition.


“The acquisition of ITA Airways strengthens the internationalization of the Lufthansa Group. We offer our guests a significantly greater choice of connections and destinations, and with the 5-star hub in Rome we are also extending our premium offering and better connecting strategic future markets south of the equator to our network.  Despite the comprehensive and far-reaching concessions, the investment in ITA Airways strengthens the Lufthansa Group's position in global competition.  We will make ITA Airways a strong and successful part of our company and thus secure its future as an international airline and strong brand. ITA Airways will support us in further expanding our position as Number One in Europe.”

 

ITA Airways’ Chairman, Antonio Turicchi, added,

 

“The authorization received today from the European Commission is a virtuous example of consolidation in the airline industry and marks a crucial milestone in the development of ITA Airways.  Once the conditions set by the Commission are met, the Company will be able to strengthen itself thanks to Lufthansa's capital investment and achieve synergies by becoming part of one of the world's largest aviation groups, thereby ensuring greater connectivity for the country.”


The acquisition of the 41 percent minority stake in ITA Airways, subject to the acquisition of the remaining shares by Deutsche Lufthansa AG for a capital contribution of €325 million, was agreed to in May 2023.  The closing of the transaction remains subject to certain conditions, including the implementation of remedies negotiated with the EU Commission, as well as approvals by competition authorities outside of the EU. 


Options for the acquisition of the remaining shares of ITA Airways can be exercised starting in 2025.  Once the transaction is closed, ITA Airways will become Lufthansa Group’s fifth network airline, and will join the Group’s carrier’s with a range of synergies, including global sales, participation in the Miles & More loyalty program, and in aircraft and fuel purchasing.


 

Source(s): Lufthansa Group, ITA Airways

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