FILE PHOTO: German air carrier Lufthansa holds general meeting in

Thiele Family to Sell More Than Half its Stake in Lufthansa

KB Holding GmBH, Thiele family’s investment vehicle, will sell 33 million of its 60 million shares, the people said, valuing the offering at 358 million euros ($437.23 million) at Thursday’s market close.

Lufthansa declined to comment. KB Holding could not be reached for comment after regular business hours.

Heinz Hermann Thiele, majority owner of German braking systems maker Knorr-Bremse, died in February at the age of 79.

Thiele had acquired a major stake in Lufthansa and became a highly visible public figure last year when portrayed as the main obstacle to the state bailout the airline needed to survive the coronavirus crisis.

Bloomberg News reported the sale earlier on Thursday.

Earlier this month Reuters reported that the airline was working with Deutsche Bank and Bank of America to sound out investors about a capital increase worth roughly 3 billion euros, possibly as soon as June, to repay a government bailout in 2020.

($1 = 0.8188 euros)

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hübner; Writing by Radhika Anilkumar; Editing by Richard Chang)