MSC Group and Lufthansa expressed an interest in jointly acquiring a majority stake in ITA Airways, Italy's state-owned carrier.

MSC Group on Monday made its interest known to the Italian government, which owns ITA Airways, requesting a 90-day period of exclusive negotiations. According to ITA Airways, both MSC Group and Lufthansa want Italy to maintain a majority stake.

Cargo and cruise synergies

MSC cited potential synergies with its cargo and cruise businesses. 

A deal is subject to regulatory approvals and due diligence.

ITA Airways commenced operations in October as the successor of bankrupt Alitalia.