The day has come for which ITA Airways – or rather, the Italian government – was looking forward to, as the deadline for submitting binding offers from companies interested in taking over the successor of Alitalia ended at midnight on July 6 , reports the Aviationline .
A lot has happened since Alitalia closed its doors and the brand new ITA continued the business, in October of last year, still in the midst of a scenario complicated by the company’s pressing economic reality, the pandemic and, later, the war in Ukraine and the soaring price of fuel. A big challenge for sure.
The Italian press calculates that all this combined led to a devaluation of the company by around 500 million euros, but even so, the offers would have been what Rome expected, given the context.
By all accounts, Lufthansa and MSC together would offer between 800 and 850 million euros, considerably less than the 1 billion it planned to offer and far less than the 1.2 to 1.4 billion that the Italian state has set as ITA value in December 2021.
In turn, the US investment fund Certares would offer between 550 and 600 million, a smaller percentage drop, since initially it had suggested an investment between 600 and 800 million, although with a lower percentage of participation.
Lufthansa-MSC wants to have control of 80% of the share package. Cerares has not publicly confirmed its expected participation, but it will certainly be larger than Italy intends to forgo.
Another difference between the bidders is the speed to take over the company’s reins: Lufthansa would like to take over immediately, while Certares will need a transitional time to catch up and find an operational partner that will allow it to keep the schemes operational until 2023 to that Air France takes over, together with Delta Air Lines, even if the latter is linked on the purely commercial side.
The truth is that the Italian government is anxious and in a hurry to resolve the offers and can define the new owner later this week: it knows that a delay or a third round of negotiations could lower the price of the ITA even further, in addition to continuing to spend the money from the local people.