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German government sells its last shares in Lufthansa

BERLIN (AP) – The German government has sold its last shares in the country’s biggest airline, Lufthansa, which it stepped in to rescue at the height of the coronavirus crisis.

The government’s Finance Agency said the remaining stake of some 9.9 per cent has now been sold to international investors. The agency’s head Jutta Doenges said the total proceeds from selling the government’s holdings came to EUR1.07 billion – a significant gain over the EUR306 million for which the shares were acquired.

Doenges said that “the stabilisation of Deutsche Lufthansa AG has been concluded successfully” and “the company is once again in private hands”.

Lufthansa, which also owns carriers including Austrian Airlines and Swiss, received a EUR9-billion-government rescue package in mid-2020. The German government took a 20-per-cent stake in the company.

In November, Lufthansa said it paid back all the aid and cancelled funds that it hadn’t tapped.

It said it drew down about EUR3.8 billion of aid in total, including the EUR306 million that covered the stake taken by the government’s economic stabilisation fund.

Lufthansa aircraft parked at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. PHOTO: AP
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