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 late Tuesday that the remaining stake of some 9.9% 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 1.07 billion euros (dollars) — a significant gain over the 306 million euros for which the shares were acquired.

Doenges said that “the stabilization 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 9 billion-euro government rescue package in mid-2020. The German government took a 20% stake in the company.

In November, Lufthansa said it had paid back all the aid and canceled funds that it hadn’t tapped. It said it drew down about 3.8 billion euros of aid in total, including the 306 million euros that covered the stake taken by the government’s economic stabilization fund.

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