Lufthansa spreads its wings to bid for struggling Italian airline

Paterniano Del Favero
Ottobre 18, 2017

LONDON (Alliance News) - easyJet PLC said Monday it has submitted interest in acquiring assets of Italian flag carrier Societa Aerea Italiana - which operates as Alitalia.

easyJet announced in a short statement yesterday that it had submitted an expression of interest in certain assets of a restructured Alitalia, noting, however, that given the nature of the process, the content of the expression of interest was subject to confidentiality.

The Lufthansa Group said it was after "only parts" of the global traffic network as well as European and domestic point-to-point business of the national carrier, which it would use to establish a "NewAlitalia".

The Italian government wants to close the sale by the end of April, followed by a period of evaluation by European anti-trust authorities that would likely delay a completion of any deal until the end of summer.

As the deadline for making binding offers expired Monday evening, the company said it had received "seven envelopes" with offers and "the Special Commissioners of Alitalia will now begin evaluating the envelopes".

Lufthansa did not provide detailed information, including how much the bid is worth and how much staff it would retain.

Both airlines are also bidding for parts of bankrupt Air Berlin.

As such, quoting three sources, Italy's Corriere della Sera reported earlier this week that Lufthansa's bid entailed a EUR500 million euro (USD590 million) offer covering an unspecified number of Alitalia's fleet, flight crews, and slots.

Alitalia declined to comment.

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