Two suitors for Ita Airways: after the closure of the data room, binding offers are expected from MSC Group together with Lufthansa and the American private equity fund Certares, in commercial alliance with Air France and Delta. In view of the opening of the envelopes with the final amount offered to acquire the company chaired by Alfredo Altavilla and led by Fabio Lazzerini, accompanied by the five-year industrial plan and the governance plan, the expectations among those following the privatization dossier are to receive lower offers, compared to last May 23.
With the passage of time, in fact, the airline loses value, this is a very clear element at Palazzo Chigi which asked the Treasury – as the sole shareholder of the company and director of the operation – to speed up the times for identifying the consortium buyer, after it was decided to postpone the deadline for closing the data room from 30 June to 5 July.
Downside offers in a worsening picture
The picture is worsening with the passing of the months, just think that fuel prices have gone from $ 640 per ton on which Ita based the 2022 budget to $ 1,420. To the increase in the cost of energy are added the uncertainties related to the duration of the war and the growing diffusion of the Omicron variant.
MSC-Lufthansa’s January expression of interest ranged from 1.2-1.4 billion, then on 23 May 1 billion was offered for 80% of the airline, and now the binding offer is expected further down by analysts. The same goes for Certares, who offered a fork of between 650 and 850 million in May. In this case the problem is that an industrial partner is missing, there is a commercial alliance with Air France-KLM which has announced a capital increase of 2.26 billion euros, and will put new shares on the market to repay part of the aid. of State received for the Covid emergency. Meanwhile, Air France cannot invest in other companies.
In December, the conclusion of the operation
If one of the two offers is deemed to prevail by the Mef, assisted by the advisors Equita and Gianni & Origoni, the exclusive private negotiation will start, which does not provide for deadlines (unless a timed exclusivity is established). Then the green light of the European Antitrust will be needed: according to forecasts, the operation will be concluded in late autumn, or in December. In a first phase, a minority shareholding (without control) is envisaged by the Ministry of Economy, which is subsequently authorized by the Dpcm to dispose of its shares, putting them on the market.