Last Updated: March 1, 2024
Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$40 Billion
Jun 2, 1937 (86 years old)
💰 Compare Klaus-Michael Kuhne's Net Worth

What is Klaus-Michael Kühne's Net Worth?

Klaus-Michael Kühne is a German billionaire businessman who has a net worth of $43 billion. In 2023, when his net worth surpassed the $30 billion net worth of German supermarket billionaire Dieter Schwarz, Klaus-Michael became the richest person in Germany.

Klaus-Michael Kuehne owns the global transport and logistics company Kühne + Nagel, which was co-founded by his grandfather August in 1890. He also has part-ownership of the global shipping and container transportation company Hapag-Lloyd, and is a major shareholder in the German flag-carrier Lufthansa. In other endeavors, Kühne founded his own private business school in Hamburg called Kühne Logistics University.

Early Life

Klaus-Michael Kühne was born on June 2, 1937 in Hamburg, Germany. His father, Alfred, was a businessman who had inherited the global transport and logistics company Kühne + Nagel from his own father, August. Alfred later became a member of the Nazi Party, and partook in the systematic theft of Jewish property through his company.

Career Beginnings

In 1963, Kühne joined his father as a junior partner in the family business Kühne + Nagel. A little over a decade later, he moved to Switzerland, where the company is headquartered. During the first and second oil price crises in the 1970s, Kühne attempted to found a shipping company of his own, but was unsuccessful.

Business Ownership

In 1994, Kühne + Nagel went public on the stock market. Two years after that, Kühne became the CEO of the company, and soon also became the president and delegate of the board of directors. He remained CEO until the summer of 1999, when Klaus Herms took the position. Through his Kühne Holding AG, of which he is the sole owner, Kühne holds a 55.75% share in Kühne + Nagel. He also holds a 30% share in the global shipping and container transportation company Hapag-Lloyd, of which he became a partner in 2008. Later, in 2016, he took over 20.3% of the shares of the VTG Stock Company, which he went on to sell in 2018.

Among his other significant holdings, Kühne holds 17.5% of the shares of German flag carrier Lufthansa, having doubled his stake in 2022 after the country sold a large portion of its shares due to the COVID pandemic. This made him the largest individual shareholder in Lufthansa. Because of his holdings and assets, Kühne is the richest person in Germany. However, he does not pay any taxes in the country for his holding company or his private assets.

Klaus-Michael Kuhne

Klaus-Michael Kuhne (Photo by Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Other Ventures

In addition to his main companies, Kühne is the founder of his eponymous non-profit foundation, to which he contributes five billion Swiss francs annually and will give his assets after his death. He also founded Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, a private business school offering bachelor's degrees and a few master's programs. Elsewhere in academia, Kühne collaborated with the Technical University of Berlin to launch the school's International Logistics Networks department.

Kühne is also a major investor in the German sports club Hamburger SV. In 2010, he purchased 33% of the rights to transfer fees of a handful of players for 12.5 million euros. Kühne later sold his share and bought a 33% share of the transfer fees of Rafael van der Vaart. In 2014, he gave HSV a loan of 17 million euros for the signing of new players, and the year after that bought a 7.5% share in the club. Kühne continued to give the club major loans until 2018, when he stated that continued financial support was not sustainable.

Honors and Awards

Kühne has received a number of honors for his work in the business world. In 2005, he was inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame, and in 2007 was given the title of honorary professor by the Hamburg Senate for his continued commitment to developing logistics in the city. The year after that, Kühne was given an honorary doctorate from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany.

Personal Life

In 1989, Kühne married his wife Christine. They do not have any children.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction