Lufthansa seeks buyer for part of IT unit

FRANKFURT, April 2 Wed Apr 2, 2014 11:46am EDT

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FRANKFURT, April 2 (Reuters) - Lufthansa is seeking a buyer for part of its IT unit as it seeks to overhaul the entire division, and has already held some early talks with interested parties, it said on Wednesday.

Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, is currently undergoing a group-wide restructuring programme to improve operating profit by 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) by the end of 2015 when compared with 2011.

Lufthansa Systems will be divided into three parts - Infrastructure, Airline Solutions and Industry Solutions. The Infrastructure division, which employs 1,400 people, will be sold, while the other two will remain within the Lufthansa group.

The infrastructure business, which provides data centres, networks and telephony, requires a high level of investment and economies of scale are critical, Lufthansa said in a statement, explaining its decision to exit the business.

While the Infrastructure business accounted for 40 percent of Systems' total turnover of 640 million euros, it made up only 25 percent of the unit's profit.

"Indicative talks with some interested parties have already taken place and we hope to send out an invitation to tender shortly," a spokeswoman told Reuters. ($1 = 0.7263 Euros) (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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