German billionaire Heinz Hermann Thiele, one of the world's richest industrialists, has increased his stake in Lufthansa Group from 5.29% to 10.01%, becoming the group's largest shareholder, according to a stock market filing.

The transaction, which was completed on March 16, saw Thiele increase his holding by 22.6 million shares, which were worth EUR195.5 million euros (USD212 million).

Lufthansa shares, as with those of most of its industry peers, have plummeted since the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 25, 2020, they were priced at EUR9.51 (USD10.31), down over a third from a peak of EUR15.40 (USD16.70) on February 19, 2020.

Thiele is the chairman and majority shareholder of Knorr-Bremse, one of the world's largest manufacturers of braking systems for cars and trains. He is also the chairman and majority shareholder of rail equipment manufacturer Vossloh.