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Stock crash and huge capital gap - Lilium threatens to lose the race

If stock price performance is any indication of the company's future, then things aren't looking too rosy for Lilium.

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Stock crash and huge capital gap - Lilium threatens to lose the race

If stock price performance is any indication of the company's future, then things aren't looking too rosy for Lilium. In September 2021, the German manufacturer of electric air taxis went public on the US stock exchange. At first, a share cost ten dollars - now it's only around $1.40. A fall of 86 percent. Nevertheless, shareholders continue to believe in the success and have just pumped 119 million dollars into the company via a capital increase.

But Lilium needs a lot more money. In documents submitted to the US stock exchange, the company is now stating for the first time the further additional capital required before the electric high-flyer can be approved: 540 million dollars are still missing. The originally planned market entry has already been postponed from 2024 to 2025. A spokesman explained on request that the planning for further money requirements is also based on this date.

The fate of Lilium is thus developing into an increasingly risky race between high running costs and little income until the start of flight operations. This is reflected in a few figures: In the first half of 2022 there was no sales, but a loss of 124 million euros. A total loss of 841 million euros has now accumulated. In the next year, at least purchase intentions for the models are to be converted into first firm orders.

Lilium belongs to the top class of the countless developers for e-flying taxis. However, according to experts, a drastic selection process is imminent for around 400 projects worldwide. It is also a competition between well-established airline companies with well-stocked coffers and start-ups that have to fight for the goodwill of their investors.

According to Lilium, old shareholders, new investors and strategic partners participated in the latest capital increase. Honeywell or the Chinese technology group Tencent are mentioned, for example. Documents for the US stock exchange show that Tencent recently held 22 percent of all voting rights. The Chinese are likely to be the largest single shareholder and surpass the share held by Lilium co-founder and CTO Daniel Wiegand, who was at the helm of Lilium until autumn. A list of the major shareholders and their shares is not published.

In Andalusia, Spain, German start-up Lilium is testing its electric flying taxi. For the first time since 2019, the company has now allowed journalists to follow a test flight. WORLD was there.

Source: WELT/Gerhard Hegmann

The company prefers to talk about its ambitious plans for the model for four to six passengers plus pilot. Production just outside of Munich could be expanded to 400 models a year, they say. The list price per model should be ten million euros for private individuals.

However, the industry warns against overly optimistic forecasts. At a recent specialist event, Airbus air taxi manager Andreas Thellmann referred to the requirement that not only the flight model, but the entire system, including pilot radio connections on the route, must be approved by the EASA supervisory authority. Only then is market entry in Europe possible.

With all the financial adversity, the technical challenges and very bold forecasts, it almost seems as if only a miracle can now help the Lilium project.

"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 5 a.m. with the financial journalists from WELT. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.

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