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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Lufthansa agrees €9bn rescue deal with Germany

Lufthansa has agreed a rescue deal worth €9bn (£8bn) with the German government that saves it from collapse.

The German airline has been severely affected by a decline in travel due to the coronavirus and closed its budget airline Germanwings in April.

The German government will take a 20% stake in the firm, which it intends to sell by the end of 2023.

But the deal still has to be approved by the firm’s shareholders and the European Commission.

As part of the rescue package, the German government will also inject €5.7bn in non-voting capital, which is known as a “silent participation”.

Part of these funds can be converted into an additional 5% equity stake, which would enable the government to veto any potential hostile takeover bids.

European markets rose on the news, with Lufthansa shares closing 7.5% higher, while Germany’s Dax jumped 2%. The Frankfurt-based index closed at its highest level since 6 March.

The Cac 40 index in France meanwhile rose 1.5%, and the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 1.1%.

Global airlines group IATA has said it expects airline passenger revenues to drop by more than 40% this year and warned that more than 25 million jobs in aviation and related industries are at risk.

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