BMW’s falling share price forces billionaire heir to pay up

BMW Group’s declining share price has forced a member of the family that controls the company to pledge more stock to cover a loan she used to finance an investment in a luxury high-rise building in Frankfurt.

Susanne Klatten, who together with her brother, Stefan Quandt, own nearly half of BMW, pledged 1.12 million shares in the company on Wednesday, according to a financial disclosure released Friday. Based on BMW’s share price Wednesday, the shares are worth about 72 million euros ($ 82 million). Klatten’s net worth is $ 18.9 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

The pledge was for a loan that Klatten had used to finance her investment in the Winx Riverside Tower, a spokesman for the Klatten family confirmed.

The Winx Riverside is a luxury high-rise office building in Frankfurt nestled on the banks of the Main river that its developer advertises as laying the city and river “at the beholder’s feet.”

Billionaire burden

Due to BMW’s falling share price — down 16 percent over the past year — Klatten had to put up additional stock to cover her loan, the spokesman said.

While Klatten and her brother usually stay out of the public eye, the siblings recently gave an interview to Manager Magazin in which they said inherited wealth was a misunderstood burden and that people underestimate the downsides of controlling billions.

BMW has battled trade tensions and slowing global markets this year, even as it invests in the shift to self-driving, electric vehicles. Earnings during 2019 will be “well below” last year’s levels, the company has said, partly due to investment in developing new technology. A spokesman for BMW declined to comment on shareholder matters.

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Section Page News – Automotive News

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