Germany sells full stake in Lufthansa for USD 760 mn
Germany raised 760 million euros (USD 760 million) from the sale of the state’s full stake in Deutsche Lufthansa AG, unwinding all of the holding it took to keep the flagship carrier afloat during covid-19 lockdowns. The country’s Economic Stabilization Fund, or WSF, disposed of its remaining 9.92% of Europe’s largest airline via a placement with international investors, according to a statement, reports Miint.
The government had earlier on Tuesday announced the sale of a 6.2% holding.
Proceeds of 1.07 billion euros significantly exceed the 306 million euros invested, said Jutta Doenges, who is responsible for the WSF as Managing Director of the agency. With this outcome, “the participation of the WSF ends and the company is back in private hands,” she said. The shares traded 4.4% lower as of 1.35pm in Frankfurt. Lufthansa in November repaid the last of its 9 billioneuro bailout ahead of schedule, enabling the government to offload its stake at a profit. The state stepped in during 2020 to rescue the airline after travel restrictions all but grounded air travel. Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Germany’s richest man, may have been one of the buyers.
The billionaire is looking to boost his 15.01% stake according to a filing last week. The size of Kuehne’s holding would enable him to appoint a representative to Lufthansa’s supervisory board. Kuehne has in the past expressed interest in a place and there are four on the oversight committee due to become available next year. The latest developments come shortly after it reached an agreement that raises pay for pilots and excludes strikes for about a year in return. The airline has been wrestling with labour disputes that exacerbated an already chaotic summer travel season.