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Italian billionaire owning Luxair stake dies
Luxair

Italian billionaire owning Luxair stake dies

by Andréa OLDEREIDE 28.06.2022
Businessman ranking 54th richest person in the world owned a 13% stake in Luxembourg's national carrier
Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder of Luxottica and major shareholder of Luxair, has died at the age of 87 in Milan
Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder of Luxottica and major shareholder of Luxair, has died at the age of 87 in Milan
Photo credit: Foto: AFP

An Italian billionaire holding 13% of the shares in Luxair died on Monday, severing the ties between Luxembourg's national carrier and the founder of Italian eyewear group Luxoticca.

Leonardo Del Vecchio, ranked as the world's 54th-richest person by Forbes, held his shares through Luxembourg holding company Delfin.

Del Vecchio founded Luxottica, the world’s largest producer of glasses and the owner of the Ray-Ban brand. When Luxottica merged with France's Essilor, he became chairman of the new group, EssilorLuxottica.  

Luxair is controlled by the government, with Luxembourg holding 39% of the shares outright, and state-owned bank BCEE another 21.8%.

Banque International à Luxembourg (BIL) is about to offload the  13% stake the China-owned bank holds in Luxair, the bank's chairman Luc Frieden has said, given that the bank is expecting to post a loss of €20 to €30 million this year. The government has the right of first refusal on the stake.

Luxair lost €2.3 million last year, despite a dividend payment from cargo airline Cargolux and help from the two banks. That was still an improvement over a €155 million loss during 2020, when the pandemic and resulting lockdowns kept travellers home and planes grounded.


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