Klaus-Michael Kuehne is a German businessman, manager, and billionaire who was born on June 2, 1937, in Hamburg. In addition to being the co-founder of the Kühne Foundation with his parents, he serves on the board of directors and owns the majority of the stock in the global logistics service firm Kuehne + Nagel.
He is particularly well-known for being a shareholder in HSV Fußball AG, to which Hamburger SV’s professional football division has belonged since 2014.
Klaus-Michael Kuehne Bio/Wiki
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Klaus-Michael Kuehne Early Life
He attempted to start a shipping business during the first and second oil price crises, but ran into financial difficulties and was forced to sell half of the company to the Lonrho Group for DM 90 million in 1981, the year of his father’s passing.
In 1992, he paid 340 million marks to purchase it again, and in 1994, he floated Kuehne + Nagel International AG on the stock market. He has served as President and Delegate of the Board of Directors since 1998, replacing him as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Klaus-Michael Kühne owns a 100% share in Kühne Holding AG, which owns a 55.75 per cent holding in Kuehne + Nagel International AG.
In 2008, he acquired a stake in the shipping company Hapag-Lloyd via the Albert Ballin group. He owns 30 per cent of the stock there. He bought 20.3 per cent of the stock of Hamburg-based VTG AG in May 2016, then he sold it again in July 2018.
Klaus-Michael Kuehne Education
He studied at Hamburg-Heinrich-Hertz-Schule. Winterhude. After completing his high school education, Kühne worked for reputable freight forwarders, shipping firms, and ship brokers before completing a two-year apprenticeship as a bank and international trade clerk at the bank Münchmeyer & Co.
He started working for the forwarding company in 1958, and in 1963, when he was 26 years old, he was made a personally accountable partner (general partner) and a partner.
He was elected chairman of the board of management in 1966 and the company’s headquarters were moved to Switzerland in 1969 when Kuehne + Nagel was transformed into a stock corporation.
Klaus-Michael Kuehne Family
The only child of forwarding agent Alfred Kühne (1895-1981) and his wife Mercedes (1908-2001 in Hamburg, née Greef), Kühne is the grandson of August Kühne, a co-founder of the business.
Kühne and his wife Christine, to whom he has been married since 1989, are without children. Although he was born in Germany, he has lived in Schindellegi, Switzerland, where Kuehne + Nagel’s headquarters are, since 1975.
Klaus-Michael Kuehne Professional Career
He became a junior partner at Kühne + Nagel in 1963, working alongside his father, Alfred Kühne (1895–1981). Since 1975, he has called Schindellegi, Switzerland, home. Schindellegi is where Kühne + Nagel is headquartered. In 1996, he was appointed the company’s CEO. Kuhne Holding AG is also managed by him. The business purchased 20% of rail logistics firm VTG in 2016. Kühne became the largest shareholder in the shipping company Hapag-Lloyd when he increased his ownership from 26 to 30 per cent in April 2020. He increased his ownership of Germany’s largest airline, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, by double in 2022.
He established the Hamburg School of Logistics in 2003 along with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. The school was later renamed the Kühne School of Logistics and Management after receiving a sizable donation in 2007, and it eventually became the Kühne Logistics University.
The Department of International Logistics Networks was finally established as a result of collaboration with the Technical University of Berlin. Additionally, the Kühne Foundation supports the Kuehne Centre for Logistics Management and the Kuehne Foundation Endowed Chair of Logistics Management at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar.
Kühne was admitted to the Logistics Hall of Fame in 2005. For his “sustained commitment to the growth and expansion of logistics science in Hamburg and his contribution to the construction of the Elbphilharmonie,” the Hamburg Senate bestowed upon him the honorary title of professor in 2007. Additionally, Kühne has invested in Hamburger SV.
He acquired 33% of the transfer rights to the athletes Dennis Aogo, Dennis Diekmeier, Paolo Guerrero, Marcell Jansen, Lennard Sowah, and Heiko Westermann in the summer of 2010 for 12.5 million euros. Kühne waived these transfer rights and obtained in exchange 33 per cent of the transfer rights to Rafael van der Vaart after the transfer of van der Vaart in 2012, for which Kühne provided a loan of 8.5 million euros.
HSV received a 17 million euro loan from Kühne in August 2014 to help with the player acquisition. In July 2014, the professional football division of HSV Fußball AG was spun off, and on January 22, 2015, Kühne converted an 18.75 million euro loan into 7.5% of the company’s shares.
The HSV stadium was given the name Volksparkstadion by Kühne for the 2015–16 season after the company purchased the naming rights. He will make four million euros in season payments up until 2019. Additionally, in the summer of 2015, Albin Ekdal has hired thanks to funding provided by Kühne.
In order to pay back the stadium debt, Kühne gave HSV a loan of EUR 25 million in 2015. HSV paid back the loan the next year after placing a promissory note loan. On February 6, 2016, it was revealed that Kühne now owns 11% of the shares of HSV Fußball AG after his loan of EUR 9.25 million was converted into HSV shares.
In order to sign new players, Kühne gave HSV a loan of 38 million euros during the summer of 2016. This amount will only need to be reimbursed if HSV qualifies for the European Cup three times over the course of the following six seasons, it was declared during the General Assembly on January 8, 2017.
In order to secure the rights to the first and second Bundesliga, Kühne purchased 312,500 more shares as part of a capital raise in April 2017 for 15 million euros. His ownership of HSV Fußball AG increased, as a result, rising from 11 to 17 per cent. He upped his ownership to 20.57 per cent in July 2017.
In an interview with Der Spiegel in August 2017, Kühne revealed that he had made 25 million euros available to HSV for salaries and replacements during the previous summer. In a June 2018 interview with Sport Bild, Kühne declared that he would no longer be financially supporting HSV going forward and referred to this move as “sustainable”. Thomas Wüstefeld, a medical entrepreneur, purchased 5.11 per cent of Kühne’s shares at the end of 2021 through CaLeJo GmbH.
After the most recent capital increase in March 2022, Kühne’s ownership in HSV Fußball AG will be approximately 15.21%. Through his Kühne Holding AG, he repurchased the naming rights to the Volksparkstadion at the end of March 2022 and waived a renaming until June 30, 2023.
Klaus-Michael Kuehne Political Visions
On February 6, 2016, it was revealed that Kühne now owns 11% of the shares of HSV Fußball AG after his loan of EUR 9.25 million was converted into HSV shares. In order to sign new players, Kühne gave HSV a loan of 38 million euros during the summer of 2016. This amount will only need to be reimbursed if HSV qualifies for the European Cup three times over the course of the following six seasons, it was declared during the General Assembly on January 8, 2017.
In order to secure the rights to the first and second Bundesliga, Kühne purchased 312,500 more shares as part of a capital raise in April 2017 for 15 million euros. In this light, Kühne himself previously remarked, “I have nothing against taxes; I just want to feel like they are spent on the right things.”
Kühne declared her unwavering support for the Green Party and in particular for Federal Chancellor Robert Habeck in an interview published at the end of November 2019 in the Welt is Sonntag: “Mr Habeck strikes me as the Chancellor of a Green-Black alliance. The Greens are the only party that offers optimism among those in Germany.”
Kühne complimented the federal government while also criticising it: “The federal government paints an image of gloom. There is no worse way to accomplish it.” Despite this, he gave the CDU 70,000 euros in April 2021. He stated that Angela Merkel had “done a fine job” in the Corona crisis and overall in an interview with the NZZ in the summer of 2021, but that it was past due for a change of chancellor.
Klaus-Michael Kuehne Net Worth and Assets
Kühne was rated 5th among the wealthiest Germans in 2020 and 74th overall with an estimated private fortune of 14.2 billion US dollars. With an estimated net worth of $32.6 billion as of 2023, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, it was placed 35th among the world’s wealthiest persons.
His assets are projected to be worth 30 billion francs in 2021, according to the list of the wealthiest people on the balance sheet. It boosted its ownership of Lufthansa to 10.01 per cent in April 2022. At the time, his portion was worth about 830 million euros. It boosted its investment in Lufthansa by an additional 5% in July 2022, bringing it to 15.01 per cent, making it the airline’s largest stakeholder.
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How much is the net worth of Klaus-Michael Kuehne Jr?
Who is Klaus-Michael Kuehne’s wife?
What is Klaus-Michael Kuehne’s age?
What is the name of the Klaus-Michael Kuehne firm?
Kühne + Nagel