Lufthansa to get €9bn state rescue aid

Lufthansa is in talks over a €9bn state bailout that would result in Germany taking a 20% stake in the airline, news wires reported. The deal would involve the government taking two seats on its supervisory board, but it would only exercise its full voting rights in exceptional circumstances, such as to protect the firm against a takeover.

The airline has been in talks with Berlin for weeks over aid to help it cope with what is expected to be a protracted travel slump, but has been wrangling over how much control to yield in return for support. Sources involved in the negotiations said the government’s economic stabilisation fund had not yet put forward a final offer, but should do so on Thursday.

Lufthansa said it expected conditions of the deal to include the waiver of future dividend payments and limits on management pay, adding the package would have to be approved by the European Commission. The plan includes a €3bn loan from the state-backed bank KfW and a convertible bond, which could be exchanged for a further 5% stake plus one share in the event of a public takeover offer by a third party.

Rivals such as Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM and US carriers American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have also sought state aid.

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