Lufthansa back in private hands as German government sells rescue stake

AFP - [email protected] • 14 Sep, 2022 Updated Wed 14 Sep 2022 11:51 CEST
Lufthansa back in private hands as German government sells rescue stake
Lufthansa aircrafts in Hamburg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Bockwoldt

On Wednesday, Lufthansa said the German state had sold the stake it took in the airline as part of a rescue package at the peak of the Covid pandemic, and booked a healthy profit in the process.


In the spring of 2020, borders were shutting worldwide, forcing airlines everywhere to ground planes and put staff put on forced leave.


To save Lufthansa from bankruptcy, the German government took a 20 percent stake in the group under a nine-billion-euro state aid package.

Under the deal, the government agreed to sell the stake by October 2023. But with the airline's finances stabilising as travel resumed, Berlin was able to start selling its holdings as early as November last year.

READ ALSO: Germany’s Lufthansa records first net profit since the start of pandemic

Lufthansa said the remaining 6.2 percent of the share capital was sold on Tuesday.

"This brings the stabilisation of Lufthansa to a successful conclusion," said Carsten Spohr, its CEO.

"The stabilisation of Lufthansa was successful, and is also paying off financially for the German government and thus for the taxpayer," he added.

The state paid €306 million for the stake and sold it for €1.07 billion - a profit of €760 million.

"With this gratifying balance, the WSF's (Economic Stabilisation Fund's) participation comes to an end and the company is once again in private hands," said Jutta Doenges, who ran the fund.

In August, Lufthansa reported its first net profit since the pandemic, booking €259 million in earnings for the second quarter as it benefited from pent-up demand for travel.

The group - which includes Eurowings, Austrian, Swiss and Brussels Airlines - made huge net losses of €6.7 billion in 2020 and €2.2 billion in 2021 as the pandemic shut down large parts of the airline industry.


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