Lufthansa’s shares have gone down 8.09 per cent today as the German carrier announced it has no plans to gain a majority stake in Alitalia’s successor ITA.
Chief executive Carsten Spohr told investors today not to worry about the takeover, as owning a majority stake in ITA is “far away” from his intentions.
“We know what we are doing in Italy, no worry. I hear my shareholders – don’t worry we know there is a legacy,” Spohr said in reference to Alitalia’s decades of losses which led to the carrier’s complete relaunch in October.
Lufthansa, which has teamed up with shipping giant MSC, will become a minority shareholder while MSC will take the bigger piece of the pie.
“The government linked us up with MSC, and they asked us for a blind date, and we fell in love,” he added.
The airline’s decision to take over a minority share is expected to appease MSC, who a few weeks ago made clear its intention to become ITA’s majority stakeholder, City A.M. reported.
The most important thing for us is to have a majority share in ITA Airways. The Germans can come in as a commercial partner or minority shareholder,” Gianluigi Aponte, founder and chairman of MSC Group, told Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera on 27 January.
“We want to manage ITA, otherwise we wouldn’t be going into this deal. We don’t want to be a sleeping partner.”