AWhen Friedrich Merz was asked last November if he was a millionaire, the CDU politician initially struggled with a clear answer. He stood in the middle of the race for the candidacy for the CDU party chairmanship, which he ultimately lost to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Merz received a lot of criticism for his statement that he was "part of the upper middle class". Finally, he admitted, thanks to various supervisory board and consultant mandates, including the investment firm Blackrock, to earn around one million euros a year gross.
Even if his income, for whatever reason, should soon decline: the status as a millionaire Merz should not lose so fast. This has to do with his commitment to the Swiss company Stadler Rail. The lawyer sits for many years on the board of Thurgau manufacturer of rail vehicles. It was previously majority owned by the Swiss entrepreneur Peter Spuhler. But late last week, he sold a large part of his shares in an IPO. According to the Swiss Stock Exchange, this was the largest IPO so far this year in Europe. The share, which was issued at 38 francs, started on Friday at a price of 42 francs and finally closed at 43.10 francs. This makes Stadler worth 4.3 billion francs on the stock exchange.
With the placement of shares, Spuhler, who Stadler has grown from a small family business to a group with 2 billion Swiss francs turnover and 8,500 employees within 30 years, received around 1.5 billion francs. Of course, the 60-year-old patron is by no means the only one who benefits from the successful jump on the trading floor. The members of the board of directors, who have been allocated quite a few shares as part of their pay over the years, are doing very well with it. As the stock exchange prospectus shows, Friedrich Merz owns 150,000 Stadler shares. According to the closing price on Friday they have a value of 6.5 million francs (5.7 million euros).
Former Federal Minister of Economics Werner Müller, who also sits on the Board of Directors, holds shares amounting to more than CHF 43 million. Even better is Christoph Franz. The former CEO of Lufthansa and its subsidiary Swiss, who today leads the board of directors of the pharmaceutical group Roche, owns 1.3 million Stadler shares. This package currently has a value of more than 56 million francs. However, the gentlemen can not dispose of this stately security assets freely. The shares are subject to a lock-up period of twelve months. After their expiration, the value of the papers can theoretically be significantly lower.