• Today
    July 03

  • 06:41 AM

Germany hands lifeline to Lufthansa airlines

REUTERS,

Added 26 May 2020

lufthansa

Aircraft of the German carrier Lufthansa are parked on the tarmac, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany March 24, 2020. (Reuters)

FRANKFURT/BERLIN – Germany threw Lufthansa a 9 billion euro ($9.8 billion) lifeline on Monday, agreeing a bailout which gives Berlin a veto in the event of a hostile bid for the airline.

The largest German corporate rescue since the coronavirus crisis struck will see the government get a 20 per cent stake, which could rise to 25 per cent plus one share in the event of a takeover attempt, as it seeks to protect thousands of jobs.

Lufthansa has been locked in talks with Berlin for weeks over aid it needs to survive an expected protracted travel slump, with the airline wrangling over how much control to yield in return for financial support.

Germany’s central government has spent decades offloading stakes in companies, but remains a large shareholder in former state monopolies such as Deutsche Post and Deutsche Telekom. Berlin also still has a 15 per cent holding in Commerzbank, which it took on during the global financial crisis.

Other airlines including Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM and U.S. carriers American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have also sought state aid after the coronavirus hit global travel.

Germany’s Finance and Economy Ministries said on Monday that Lufthansa, whose shares closed up 7.5 per cent at 8.64 euros, had been operationally healthy and profitable with good prospects, but had run into trouble because of the pandemic.

“The support that we’re preparing here is for a limited period,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said of the deal, under which Germany is buying new shares at the nominal value of 2.56 euros apiece for a total of about 300 million euros.

Berlin, which has set up a 100 billion euro fund to take stakes in companies struck by the coronavirus crisis, said it plans to sell the Lufthansa stake by the end of 2023.

“When the company is fit again, the state will sell its stake and hopefully ... with a small profit that puts us into a position to finance the many, many requirements which we have to meet now, not only at this company,” Scholz added.

Conditions of the deal include the waiver of future dividend payments and limits on management pay, Lufthansa said, adding that the government will also fill two seats on its supervisory board, with one becoming a member of the audit committee. (Reuters)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Should Barbados be reopening the borders to commercial airlines as announced by the Prime Minister?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM