Germany’s Lufthansa seeks to shore up support for rescue

International

Lufthansa aircrafts are parked on a runway at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Due to the coronavirus the airline had to cancel 95 percent of its flights recently. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Lufthansa is warning that a 9 billion-euro ($10.2 billion) rescue package for the airline group could be in danger because of criticism from a major shareholder. It urged shareholders on Wednesday to show up to a special meeting next week.

Lufthansa has agreed to the plan, which would give a government stabilization fund a 20% stake. Existing shareholders need to approve the bailout at an extraordinary meeting on June 25.

Lufthansa said it currently expects attendance of below 50% at that meeting and, in view of statements by shareholder Heinz-Hermann Thiele raising questions over his approval, the company sees a possibility that the rescue package may fail to win the two-thirds majority that such low attendance would require.

It added: “This would mean that Deutsche Lufthansa AG would possibly have to apply for protective shield proceedings under insolvency law a few days after the Annual General Meeting if no other solution is found immediately.”

The company said it “urgently appeals” to all shareholders to exercise their voting rights. Only a simple majority is required if more than 50% of the share capital is present.

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