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Germany stamps authority on Lufthansa with $9.8 bln lifeline

FRANKFURT/BERLIN — Germany threw Lufthansa a 9 billion euro ($9.8 billion) lifeline on Monday, agreeing a bailout which gives Berlin a veto in the event of a hostile bid for the airline. The largest German corporate rescue since the coronavirus crisis struck will see the government get a 20% stake, which could rise to 25% plus one share in the event of a takeover attempt, as it seeks to protect thousands of jobs. Lufthansa has been locked in talks with Berlin for weeks over aid it needs to survive an expected protracted travel slump, with the airline wrangling over how much control to yield in return for financial support. Germany’s Finance and Economy Ministries said on Monday that Lufthansa, whose shares closed up 7.5% at 8.64 euros, had been operationally healthy and profitable with good prospects, but had run into trouble because of the pandemic.

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