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Lufthansa to create holding structure, manage core brand separately

Strike of Germany's cabin crew union UFO at Frankfurt airport

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> is planning to adopt a holding structure and manage its core brand separately, it said on Wednesday, following pressure from investors to simplify its operations to improve efficiency.

Patrick Staudacher, who is joining the airline from Boston Consulting, will look after the Lufthansa brand's strategy and finances, Lufthansa said.

"The appointment is also being made against the backdrop of the planned legal independence of the Lufthansa Airline," a company spokesman added.

Lufthansa has come under mounting pressure after an acquisitive spell exposed the carrier to a broader industry downturn that has in particular inflicted losses on its Eurowings budget operation.

In August Lufthansa said that it was reviewing its group structure, but at the time declined to give specifics.

Backers of the idea of a holding structure look to the example of IAG <ICAG.L>, which runs British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus as separate profit centres.

The creation of a holding structure involves complex legal and tax issues, the Lufthansa spokesman said, adding that the company had no specific timetable for carrying out the reorganisation.


(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)