Continue to open acquisition mode

MSC forays into air freight

Under the circumstance of port congestion and the extremely unstable global shipping market, being able to provide multi-dimensional services for the international supply chain may become the development direction of major shipping companies.

In the past year, the global shipping market continued to be warm, international ports were congested, containers were hard to find, and shipping prices continued to soar. On the other hand, the shipping companies that are on the cusp of the storm have increased their profits, and the major shipping companies with sufficient funds have started business expansion models.

MSC and ITA said recently that Swiss-based shipping company MSC and Lufthansa partnered to buy a majority stake in Italian airline ITA Airways and asked for a 90-day exclusivity period to study the deal. If the acquisition goes well, it will be MSC's first foray into the air freight business and another blockbuster acquisition by MSC following two consecutive acquisitions in December last year.

The chairman of ITA Airways said this month that the company was looking for an equity partner and had begun informal talks with a number of potential buyers in Europe and overseas. MSC said the interest in ITA Airways stemmed from "the possibility of positive synergies between the two companies in the cargo and passenger sectors."

If the Italian government gives the green light, ITA Aviation's board will study the details of the letter of intent at a future meeting and decide to enter into exclusive talks with the two partners, the informed sources said. The board will meet on January 31 to approve the ITA business plan.

MSC said it and Lufthansa would decide on their respective participation in the deal after studying the Italian airline's financial data. Last week, Alfredo Altavilla, ITA chairman said the company's operating performance last year made a loss of 170 million euros. Operating income came in below expectations by 86 million euros.

Source: Shipping China


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