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Holiday group TUI on Tuesday unveiled a capital increase to pay back elements of a German state bailout that it had received during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported. The company will issue up to 162,291,441 new shares, which, based on Tuesday's closing price of 2.89 euros apiece, would result in proceeds of up to 469 million euros ($494 million). TUI said that it planned to use the proceeds as well as existing cash resources to fully repay the second installment of a so-called silent participation of the German government in the order of 671 million euros.
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CargoLogic Germany applied for insolvency restructuring on May 10, nearly two months after it was banned from operating in German airspace due to its alleged links to Russian Volga-Dnepr Group, Ch-Aviation.com reported. The District Court of Leipzig has appointed Lucas Flöther as the provisional administrator. He has ample experience with distressed airlines, having overseen the insolvencies of Air Berlin, Niki (Austria), Condor, and SundAir. "We are checking whether it is possible to resume flight operations as quickly as possible, taking into account the sanctions.
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European natural gas prices jumped as some shipments from Russia were disrupted, and Germany said Moscow was using energy as a weapon in an escalating clash over supply, Bloomberg News reported. The benchmark contract surged 14% as flows from Russia via Ukraine fell further Thursday following interruptions at a cross-border entry point as a result of the war. It adds to the market’s concerns, as Moscow retaliates to Europe’s penalties with a slew of its own curbs targeting some gas companies in the region.
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German officials are quietly preparing for any sudden halt in Russian gas supplies with an emergency package that could include taking control of critical firms, Reuters reported. The preparations being led by the Ministry for Economic Affairs show the heightened state of alert about supplies of the gas that powers Europe's biggest economy and is critical for the production of steel, plastics and cars. Russian gas accounted for 55% of Germany's imports last year and Berlin has come under pressure to unwind a business relationship that critics says is helping to fund Russia's war in Ukraine.
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Germany's finance minister warned on Monday that rising wages could further fan inflation, adding that parties involved in collective bargaining had a responsibility to help prevent that from happening and that one-off payments might be needed, Reuters reported. German inflation hit an annual 7.8% in April, the highest in more than four decades, which is expected to fuel wage demands. Wage agreements for some 10 million workers are up for re-negotiation in Germany this year, according to the German federation of trade unions.
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Former German tennis star Boris Becker could be deported from Britain in the wake of his conviction for violating the Insolvency Act, UPI.com reported. Becker was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for hiding millions of pounds worth of assets during a bankruptcy. He could be deported because British law allows for any foreign national convicted of a crime and given a prison sentence to be considered for deportation. Becker was charged with hiding more than $3 million in assets after filing for bankruptcy in 2017.
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Lufthansa and its partner MSC have been looking at financial data opened up by state-owned ITA Airways to see if the Italian airline would make a good strategic acquisition, the German carrier's chief executive said on Thursday, Reuters reported. Prospective bidders for ITA Airways have had access to its finance data room for about 72 hours, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr told a news conference. The Italian government wants to clinch an ITA privatisation deal by mid-June, sources told Reuters in March.
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EU antitrust rules should be beefed up to allow regulators to break up companies for serious breaches, German State Secretary Sven Giegold said on Wednesday, urging EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager to consider this when reforming regulations, Reuters reported. Rules known as Regulation 1/2003, in force since 2004, have allowed Vestager to go after Alphabet unit Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and Intel, and impose billions of euros in fines.
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The sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine will not be lifted until Moscow reaches a peace agreement with Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, adding that it was for Ukraine to determine the peace terms, Reuters reported. Scholz, in an interview broadcast Monday on ZDF public television, said Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated if he had anticipated he might be able to gain territory from Ukraine, declare an end to hostilities, and see Western countries drop sanctions. "He didn't think his entire Ukraine operation through," Scholz said.
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Germany has started preparations for a potential halt in Russian gas deliveries as concerns intensify amid a dispute over payment terms, Bloomberg News reported. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday that preparations to limit Germany’s exposure to Russian energy imports were under way even before President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. While Russian coal is already being phased out, gas is more difficult, he said in Tokyo after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
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