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ITA Airways: new privatization decree

Green light for the entry of an industrial partner that holds a minority stake

The Council of Ministers recently approved a Dpcm decree (replacing the previous one) with the aim of speeding up the privatization procedure of the air carrier ITA Airways. The text puts the will of the Meloni Executive in black and white: the entry of an industrial partner who holds a minority stake. The document will be submitted to the scrutiny of the Court of Auditors and then sent to the Official Gazette for publication.

The decree provides that " the sale of the investment in ITA is carried out through direct negotiation" and is "limited to subjects who individually or as part of a group have participated in the procedure" already expressing interest in the acquisition (these are Lufthansa, MSC, fund Certares, Indigo Partners fund).

However, now "an airline must necessarily be present among the bidders, which must acquire the majority of the capital involved in each phase of the operation". Furthermore, the decree states that "the bidder must ensure that even on the date of the exit of the Ministry of Economy from the capital of ITA Airways, the majority of the capital of this is held by an airline".

In short, if the US investment fund Certares wanted to get back into the game, it would have to not only involve the Air France-KLM airline group, but also let them lead the consortium (currently impossible because, according to Brussels, Air France must give back to to Paris the money received during the pandemic, before investing).

For this reason, in the opinion of some experts in the sector, it seems a decree suitable for Lufthansa, the only company at the moment that satisfies the requirements. In fact, the German aviation group has announced its intention to acquire 40% of ITA Airways and then rise to 100%. Exactly as envisaged by the new act of the council of ministers, which with the new decree canceled the limits imposed by the previous one, which provided for the maintenance of a "minority, not a controlling" shareholding for the MEF.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency