June 25, 2020 / 6:31 AM / 16 days ago

Lufthansa shares soar after major shareholder backs bailout plan

BERLIN, June 25 (Reuters) - Lufthansa shares jumped more than 27% in early trade on Thursday after billionaire investor Heinz Hermann Thiele endorsed a 9 billion euro ($10.12 billion) government bailout to rescue the carrier hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I will vote for the proposal,” Thiele, who owns a 15.5% stake in Lufthansa, told Frankfurter Allgemeine daily on Wednesday.

His endorsement amounted to a respite for the airline after fears had swirled that he might veto the proposed package, which would see Germany buy 20% of the company.

Shareholders are due to vote on the bailout at Lufthansa’s virtual extraordinary general meeting on Thursday.

The company struck a cost savings deal overnight with a union representing German flight attendants that would reap more than 500 million euros in savings. ($1 = 0.8892 euros) (Reporting by Thomas Seythal Editing by Michelle Martin)

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