Frank Thelen criticizes state aid for Adidas: “Sorry, that’s not possible”

Adidas recently came under increasing criticism because the sporting goods manufacturer applied for government aid in the corona crisis and wanted to suspend rental payments.

Investor Frank Thelen also criticized state support for companies like Adidas in the podcast “The Hour Zero”: “Why do we as taxpayers have to finance a company that made two billion profit in 2019?”

Thelen also warns against neglecting the promotion of new technologies.

Adidas has become a target in the Corona crisis. The sporting goods manufacturer was the first DAX company to apply for government aid and announced that it would make use of an exemption and stop rent payments. Adidas later rowed back from it.

The development bank KfW granted the company a loan of 2.4 billion euros in April. Adidas achieved a profit of two billion euros in the record year 2019 and announced in mid-March that it would pay a dividend to shareholders when the global consequences of the pandemic were already looming. The company’s financial reserves would also have been higher without a share buyback program. In addition, the sporting goods manufacturer had saved a rating. Adidas boss Kasper Rorsted turned from a celebrated favorite on the stock exchange to a bogeyman.

“Sorry, but why does Adidas get loans from the state?”

Also investor Frank Thelen does not leave the hair company in Herzogenaurach with good hair. As a guest in the podcast “The Hour Zero” by Stern, Capital and Ntv, the ex-juror from “Die Höhle der Löwen” is outraged by state aid for Adidas. “Sorry, but why does Adidas get loans from the state?” Asks Thelen. “Why do we as taxpayers have to finance a company that made two billion profit in 2019? Sorry, that’s not possible. ”

The company could have found other ways of financing instead of the government loan. “When you are so careless as a corporate leader – and that can also be the case if you grow progressively – but that happens to startups or the barber shop or the restaurant. Then how can it be that we as taxpayers are responsible for this? ”Says Thelen.ermans earn that in comparison – and they save so much

With regard to the discussion about Lufthansa, the investor is generally not a fan of government aid for companies in crisis: “I’m not deep in there, but what I can see is that really high amounts flow relatively quickly and when it comes to that , Quantum computers, hyperloops, venture capital, KIT [Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Anmerkung der Redaktion], TUM [Technische Universität München, d. Red.]To sponsor Aachen as a great university with 100 million times, we have very, very long discussions and unfortunately there is hardly any money flowing to this day. ”

Thelen: “Amazon and Tesla are now attacking”

The tech investor is known for his criticism of government support for new technologies, which he believes is insufficient. He also warns against setting wrong priorities in the Corona crisis. “Of course Covid-19 is dramatic and I don’t want to downplay it in any way. It affected our lives very much, ”says Thelen in the podcast. But you would have to take a step back and reflect on how new technologies such as robotics or artificial intelligence will change our lives: “Then I think it’s fair to say that what we’re experiencing with Covid-19 is dramatic, but significantly smaller than what we can expect from these technologies in the next ten years. ”

In the USA, on the other hand, companies like Amazon and Tesla would invest and not rest on their laurels: “They are now attacking,” says Thelen, referring to the opening of several new Gigafactorys for Tesla. “This is a DNA that we need in Germany.”


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