Rome

Italy’s state-owned ITA airline, born from the ashes of bankrupt Alitalia, said Monday it received a takeover offer from German rival Lufthansa and shipping group MSC.

MSC and Lufthansa want a majority stake in ITA, but “both have expressed the wish for the Italian government to retain a minority,” the airline said in a statement.

It added that the prospective buyers are seeking an exclusivity period of 90 days to negotiate the purchase.

No financial details about the offer were given.

ITA started operating last October after the Italian government bailed out once again the long-struggling Alitalia, and relaunched it under a new name. Since then, it has continued to lose money as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the airline industry.

When it was launched, most analysts said ITA was too small to survive alone and faced the prospect of being bought by a bigger airline.

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