1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Business Briefs

Lufthansa denies bidding for Swiss; Mannheimer Holding gets new lease on life insurance; longer shopping hours are good for retailers; and IG Metall will choose new leader in August.


IG Metall President Klaus Zwickel, right, and Jürgen Peters cannot agree on the union's leadership.

Lufthansa denies buy-out bid for Swiss

Speculations about a possible Lufthansa takeover of troubled Swiss airline Swiss were put to rest on Monday after the German carrier refuted earlier reports that the company was interested in buying the near bankrupt airline. On Sunday the Zurich newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported that Lufthansa had submitted a firm offer to purchase 19 long-distance planes, 18 middle-distance and 30 short-distance planes from Swiss. Jean-Claude Donzel, spokesman for the Swiss airline, said "We are talking with numerous airlines about possible cooperation agreements," but refrained from naming any of them. Lufthansa refused to comment on rumors circulating in recent months that it was involved in buy-out talks with Swiss. "There is definitely no offer" on the table, Lufthansa spokesman Klaus Walther said Monday. The Swiss airline has been struggling to pull itself out of the red since its restructuring last year, when its predecessor Swissair merged with Crossair.

Protektor rescues Mannheimer Holding

After weeks of negotiations, Mannheimer Lebensversicherung got a new lease on life. Protektor, the insurance industry’s safety net set up to protect policy holders’ investments in the event of insolvency, agreed on Monday to take over the insurance company’s hidden losses. In exchange, Mannheimer will gradually repay the losses as well as provide a variety of as yet unspecified services to Protektor. Last month, Mannheimer Lebensversicherung, which is part of the Mannheimer Holding – one of Germany’s oldest insurers – announced major financial losses and said it would stop writing new life insurance policies. Its 344,000 old policies were transferred to the recently created Protektor as the first such rescue package for the industry-backed safety net. The announcement of a "legally secure and insolvency avoiding" agreement between Protektor and Mannheimer boosted the insurance company’s shares by 24 percent on Monday.

Long Saturday good for retailers

The extension of Saturday shopping hours in Germany has brought an increase in sales for the Kaufhof Warenhäuser AG, one of the country’s largest department store chains. Since June, when the government decided to allow stores to stay open until 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays – four hours longer than previously permitted – retailers have seen a marked increase in purchases. A spokesperson for Kaufhof pointed to the greater customer turnout on Saturdays, especially at inner-city stores, and said that the higher numbers of people shopping were reflected in an increase in sales. A spokesperson for Metro, the umbrella corporation to which Kaufhof belongs, endorsed the statements saying, "We are very satisfied with the longer opening hours." In the previous week, the chain’s competitor KarstadtQuelle had also reported an overall jump in business on Saturdays. Wolfgang Urban, CEO of KarstadtQuelle, said his company had seen an increase "in the high two-digit region."

IG Metall decides on leader next month

The crisis-plagued German engineering and metalworkers union IG Metall will hold an extraordinary meeting at the end of August to name new leaders, exiting president Klaus Zwickel said Monday. "Then the way will be clear to finally put a stop to the crippling blockades and incomprehensible public debates in a transparent and democratic manner," Zwickel said at a meeting of union leaders in Frankfurt. IG Metall, which is Europe’s largest industrial trade union, has been hit by a crisis over leadership after the union’s representatives criticized the would-be Zwickel successor, Jürgen Peters, for his handling of the failed strike in eastern Germany last month. Peters, a hardliner who has been accused of blocking reform at a time when organized labor needs to be more flexible, has refused to withdraw his candidacy for the top union position. The only other candidate, reform-minded Berthold Huber, has decided he will no longer stand for election. Government officials and the union’s rank-and-file members have called for IG Metall to put an end to the crisis by naming a new leader.

DW recommends