Lufthansa shareholders confirm bailout approval

By Graham Dunn, FlightGlobal

Lufthansa shareholders have approved a €9bn ($10.1bn) financial rescue from Germany’s economic stabilisation fund (WSF) at an extraordinary general meeting today.

The vote in favour of the financial package was expected after the airline’s biggest shareholder Heinz-Hermann Thiele indicated he would support the deal.

Under the financial plan the WSF will make silent capital contributions of up to €5.7bn and take a 20% stake in the airline through a capital increase. The package will be supplemented by a state guaranteed loan of up to €3bn with the participation of KfW and private banks.

The European Commission earlier today approved the support package under its temporarily eased state aid rules.

Lufthansa chairman Carsten Spohr said: “The decision of our shareholders provides Lufthansa with a perspective for a successful future. On behalf of our 138,000 employees, I would like to thank the German federal government and the governments of our other home countries for their willingness to stabilise us.

“We at Lufthansa are aware of our responsibility to pay back the up to €9bn to the taxpayers as quickly as possible.”

The company adds a decision on the approval of the stabilisation measures in the other home markets of Lufthansa Group carriers will be made “in the near future”.

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