Lilium CEO expects state loan guarantees in matter of weeks


Lilium expects to receive guarantees from the Federal Government and the State of Bavaria as security for a loan from the German state bank KfW in a matter of weeks, according to CEO Klaus Roewe. 

Speaking to Revolution.Aero, Roewe said he was “very encouraged” by the developments over the past few weeks in respect of German state support. Previously, the eVTOL developer had publicly voiced its difficulties in securing state loan guarantees having first applied to Bavarian government in late 2023. 

On May 15, Lilium announced a significant step forward in its funding discussions with its home state of Bavaria and the German government. “We’re very encouraged,” Roewe told us. “Bavaria and the German government have commissioned the state bank KfW to conduct due diligence on Lilium as part of the customary investment process.

“Once the diligence is completed, we expect to receive guarantees from the Federal Government and the State of Bavaria as security for a loan from the German state bank.” The due diligence process which began last month is set to last between six to eight weeks.

The minimum target is a €100m ($106m) loan secured by default guarantee.

The mood at Lilium was further brightened by the presence of German Chancellor Olaf Schultz at the firm’s exhibition stand at last week’s Berlin Air Show. 

“It is great to have the Chancellor come and visit our stand at the Berlin Air Show and take the time to talk to us and step inside the jet. It is inspiring to the over 1,100 employees (and growing) that work at Lilium’s headquarters in Bavaria,” said Roewe.

A week before the Berlin show, Lilium extended its capital runway by a further quarter with a $114m raise from new and existing investors. The company needed to bridge its widening liquidity gap, after a first-quarter 2024 cash spend of $94.7m – up from a quarterly average of $62.85m during FY2023 – leaving it with just $110m at the end of the quarter. 

The capital raise Lilium concluded in May amounted to $114m in gross proceeds capital raise, and was backed by both new and existing investors,” said Roewe. “The funding will support our path to first manned flight of the Lilium Jet.”

Concurrently to seeking state backing in Germany, Lilium also announced last month it is doing similar in France. The firm revealed it is in “advanced talks” with the French government on potential subsidies and loan guarantees worth up to €400m ($427m) as it seeks to expand production capacity in the country.

“We plan to use the funding to build high-volume production facilities in France, including final 

assembly line, battery pack assembly line and maintenance facilities. Lilium’s headquarters, initial production line, R&D centre, and propulsion centre will remain at the current location near Munich,” said Roewe.