Lufthansa returns private as Berlin offloads remaining stake
Lufthansa has announced its return to private ownership after the German government sold its remaining 20 per cent in the carrier.
“This brings the stabilisation of Lufthansa to a successful conclusion,” said chief executive Carsten Spohr. “Lufthansa is once again fully in private hands.”
During the pandemic, the company was saved from bankruptcy by a €9bn (£7.8bn) rescue package from the government’s economic stabilisation fund.
But, aiming to offload its total stake by October next year, Berlin increasingly reduced its shares in the company over the recent period.
“On behalf of all Lufthansa employees, I would like to thank the current and previous German government and all German taxpayers for their support of our Lufthansa during the most severe financial crisis in our company’s history,” Spohr added.
Commenting on the news, aviation analyst Alex Macheras told City A.M. the return to private ownership was a “statement to the solid recovery that has taken place across the airline group over the last year.”
“Lufthansa had already repaid all the loans it received from the German government ahead of schedule in November 2021, and with this development, the airline is now back to its pre-pandemic setup,” he said.
The announcement comes as German logistics giant Kuehne announced it has increased its stake in the airliner to 17.5 per cent.
“This underlines Kuehne Holding’s positive view of the company,” the company said on Wednesday.
Kuehne became Lufthansa’s biggest shareholder in July as acquired an additional 5 per cent stake, bringing its total shares to 15 per cent.
The logistics company said on 6 September the interest in Lufthansa remained high and that German billionaire Klaus-Michael Kuehne was looking to “acquire further Lufthansa shares when there is an opportunity.”
Lufthansa recently made the headlines when last week it averted an additional two-day strike after it reached an agreement with pilots, who threatened to walk out over salaries.