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The Lufthansa Group has agreed a deal with the German government worth €9 billion that will shore up the company’s finances to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Following weeks of negotiations with the Economic Stabilisation Fund, the airline group will receive €5.7 billion in "silent participation," or non-voting capital, from the German government, some of which can be converted into a 5 percent equity stake—which would give the government a voice on the group's board.
Furthermore, Germany is acquiring a 20 percent stake in the share capital of the Lufthansa Group, though it intends to sell this by the end of 2023.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, said: "When the company is fit again, the state will sell its stake and hopefully… with a small profit that puts us in a position to finance the many, many requirements which we have to meet now, not only at this company."
The measures are supplemented by a €3 billion credit facility for a term of three years.
According to Lufthansa, conditions of the bailout include the waiver of future dividend payments and restrictions on management remuneration. In addition, the German government will take two seats on Lufthansa's supervisory board.
The financing package still has to be agreed to by Lufthansa's shareholders and the European Union, but if approved it could save up to 10,000 jobs at the firm, which warned in April that it expected to run out of cash within weeks without government support.
The news comes as Lufthansa Group's airlines prepare to reintroduce more flights to their schedules in June. The group has said it does not expect passenger demand to return to pre-coronavirus levels to return for several years and has permanently decommissioned a number of aircraft to reduce its capacity at Frankfurt and Munich. It has also closed all Germanwings operations and will speed up restructuring programs at Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines.
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