Flight cancellations, delays, strikes and missing suitcases. Tens of thousands of passengers have been desperate for Lufthansa in recent weeks. Only the Hamburger Klaus-Michael Kühne (85) not.
Kühne bought a 15 percent stake in the airline and hopes that the crane and the share price will take off again.
The latter has worked before. The Lufthansa course rose by more than ten percent to 6.73 euros from Wednesday to Friday alone. Kühne is said to have bought at a lower market value and thus made a good profit.
Kühne’s package is currently worth 1.2 billion euros. Almost small change for the 44 billion euro majority shareholder of the logistics group Kuehne + Nagel and major shareholder of the Hamburg container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd.
In addition, Kühne has a stake in the real estate company Signa Prime, which specializes in luxury properties such as the KaDeWe in Berlin or the Alsterhaus in Hamburg.
“When selecting the investments, I attach particular importance to the fact that all companies maintain their independence in international competition,” said Kühne recently. Translated, this means: the till has to ring, losses are not accepted.
Good for the Lufthansa managers that they were able to report black figures for the first time in a long time. In the second quarter, the airline made a profit of 393 million euros.
More positive news: the agreement in the wage dispute with the Verdi union. The around 20,000 ground staff will receive up to 19 percent more salary. Now all that remains is to settle the conflict with the pilots.
Who is the patriarch Klaus-Michael Kühne?
► Kühne is married and has no children, lives in Hamburg, Mallorca and since 1975 in the Swiss tax haven Schindellegi. The headquarters of Kuehne + Nagel is located there.
► Kühne’s closest confidant and right hand is Karl Gernandt (62). He had the Lufthansa share bought together within a few months. One hears from airline circles that Gernandt or Kühne could join the supervisory board.
► Kühne is a patron of Hamburger SV and repeatedly interferes loudly in club politics. Sometimes he accuses the club bosses of “weak club management”, sometimes he advocates renaming the Volksparkstadion to the Uwe-Seeler-Stadion.
Insiders fear such heckling in the future at Lufthansa. It remains to be seen whether they will be as loud as they were with the billionaire and former major shareholder Heinz Hermann Thiele (Knorr-Bremse), who died in 2021 at the age of 79.
In the airline’s biggest crisis, Thiele had threatened to veto the general meeting to prevent the state entry in the summer of 2020, which would have meant Lufthansa’s bankruptcy. At the last minute he relented.
This article comes from BILD am SONNTAG. The ePaper of the entire issue is available here.