Logistics specialist Klaus-Michael Kuehne has increased his stake in Lufthansa Group to just over 15%, replacing the German government as the airline’s largest shareholder.
The increased 15.01% stake, up from 10%, was disclosed in a stock exchange filing late on July 6, 2022. The news boosted Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) shares on July 7, sending them up 4%.
German billionaire Kuehne is the majority owner of logistics group Kuehne+Nagel and had doubled his stake in Lufthansa Group to 10% in April 2022. The German government owns 14.09% of Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) via its economic stabilization fund, which helped to support the airline through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move comes amidst increased interest in airlines from shipping and logistics companies. French transportation and shipping company CMA CGM said in May that it plans to acquire up to 9% of the capital of Air France-KLM and seek a seat on the board.
The air freight operations of both Air France-KLM and Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) have performed well during the pandemic. The grounding of passenger aircraft meant more freight had to be carried on cargo-only flights, while supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19 restrictions has also helped to drive business to air freight from shipping.