By Ilona Wissenbach, Angelo Amante and Giuseppe Fonte
FRANKFURT/ROME (RockedBuzz by way of Reuters) – Lufthansa AG and Italy sought EU antitrust approval on Thursday for the German airline to buy a controlling minority stake in Italy’s ITA Airways. Sources say Lufthansa is keen to hand over slots at Milan airport to deal with competitors considerations.
Lufthansa will purchase a 41% stake in ITA for 325 million euros ($354.71 million) as half of a capital improve, a Lufthansa firm spokesperson stated.
This follows a June settlement between the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and Lufthansa on the acquisition of minority shares. The deal additionally comprises choices that can permit Lufthansa to take over the remaining shares of ITA at a later date.
Once EU approval is obtained, ITA Airways and Lufthansa Group will instantly start cooperation on a industrial and operational degree, the spokesperson stated.
The Italian Treasury stated it had submitted a joint request with Lufthansa for approval of the deal.
The European Commission will determine by January 15 whether or not to approve the deal, in accordance to a doc revealed on its web site.
It can shut the cope with or with out cures after the preliminary evaluate or open a four-month investigation if it has critical considerations.
Lufthansa and ITA Airways might cede take-off and touchdown rights at Milan-Linate airport, sources informed RockedBuzz by way of Reuters late Thursday.
($1 = 0.9163 euros)
(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr and Illona Wissenbach, further reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; enhancing by Kirsten Donovan and Susan Fenton)