The German Government has sold its remaining stake in Deutsche Lufthansa, which it had bought as part of a bailout package for the country’s flagship carrier.

The government’s Economic Stabilisation Fund (WSF) sold its remaining 6.2% holding in the airline to multiple investors through an expedited book-building process.

Among these investors is German billionaire Klaus-Michael Kuehne, who has now increased his interest in the carrier to 17.5%.

The size of his stake is likely to earn him a seat on Lufthansa’s supervisory board. 

The sale of the WSF’s stake has brought Lufthansa fully back into private hands.

In 2020, WSF acquired a 20% stake in Lufthansa for €306m to rescue the airline during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was agreed on the condition that WSF would divest the stake by October next year.

Lufthansa is said to have cleared all its loans and deposits before schedule in November last year, which it secured from the German Government as travel restrictions were eased.

The state has now sold its stake for €1.07bn ($1.07bn), yielding a €760m ($759.3m) profit.

Deutsche Lufthansa Executive Board chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr said: “The stabilisation of Lufthansa was successful, and is also paying off financially for the German government and thus for the taxpayer.

“We had already repaid the stabilisation loan amounts earlier than expected, and the WSF has now also sold its last remaining shares one year before the deadline.

“All Lufthansa employees worldwide will continue to work hard to strengthen our position among the world’s leading airline groups, for example through a broad-based premium product and quality offensive.”

In a separate development, Lufthansa has reached a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OMV for procuring sustainable aviation fuel (Saf).

Under the MoU, energy and chemical firm OMV will supply more than 800,000t of SAF from next year to 2030.