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BIL to sell stake in struggling Luxair
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BIL to sell stake in struggling Luxair

by Yannick HANSEN 09.04.2022 From our online archive
The bank owns a 13% stake in the struggling carrier that is expected to post a loss of €20 to €30 million
Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL)
Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL)
Photo credit: Pierre Matgé

Banque International à Luxembourg (BIL) will sell its 13% stake in the country's airline Luxair, the bank's board president Luc Frieden said on Friday.

The decision to offload the Luxair shares was taken before the pandemic, but there is no concrete timetable for the sale yet, Frieden told public broadcaster 100.7 on Friday. 

The Luxembourg state and state-owned bank BCEE together hold a 60% stake in Luxair and have the right to buy the BIL shares before third-party bidders can acquire them.

Luxair has struggled throughout the pandemic, with CEO Gilles Feith saying he expected the carrier to post a loss for 2021 between €20 and €30 million after recording an operating loss of over €150 million the year before.

However, Feith said he expected the 2021 dividend from the cargo carrier Cargolux, in which Luxair has a 35% stake, to make up for the airline's losses. Cargolux posted a record profit of $769 million (€636 million) for 2020 - more than three and a half times higher than its previous best mark of $211 million (€175 million), with similar profits expected for 2021.

BIL's decision to sell its Luxair shares came as the bank reported a net income of €135 million in 2021 – up 34% compared with the previous year.

Since 2017, Chinese investment company Legend Holdings owns a 90% share in BIL, with the Luxembourg state holding the remaining 10%.

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