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Sheikh Al Jaber Cleared of Misconduct by Commercial Court Vienna, €1 Billion Damages Claim Filed Against Lufthansa Group

  • Viennese court cleared Sheikh Al Jaber following a long-running legal battle with Austrian Airlines that ended in March 2023
  • The filing of damages claim is the first step towards obtaining compensation to be utilized in philanthropic activities of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation

Riyadh, KSA: A one billion euro damages claim has today been filed against Lufthansa Group to compensate for the business and reputational damage suffered by Austro-Arab entrepreneur Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber as a result of a baseless lawsuit by Austrian Airlines (AUA). The verdict of the Vienna Commercial Court of March 31 vindicated the position of business tycoon Sheikh Al Jaber in a legal dispute with AUA after almost 15 years of proceedings. 

The court ruled that Sheikh Al Jaber was entitled to withdraw from an investment contract concluded in April 2008 due to clear misconduct on the part of AUA. The court not only dismissed the lawsuit for payment of €156.4 million plus 12.2% interest per year, which the AUA brought against Al Jaber in autumn 2008. In its detailed justification, the verdict also criticized the behavior and communication of the AUA management at the time as incorrect, misleading and in violation of market regulations.

In light of the verdict, Sheikh Al Jaber said: “The Vienna Commercial Court’s verdict which completely vindicates my position comes as a great relief. As an Austrian citizen I am proud to see that justice prevailed and that the verdict highlights AUA’s shortcomings in 2007 and 2008. I was always supremely confident in the Austrian judicial system. Due to the long-term damages done by AUA’s absurd legal battle against my entrepreneurial interests I will be seeking compensation from Lufthansa Group. With regard to more of 14 years in which this futile attempt to undermine my reputation and hurt my business was ongoing, as a preliminary estimate the claim should be way in excess of 1 billion Euro.”

According to Sheikh Al Jaber, a major share of the compensation he will seek would be dedicated to philanthropic activities of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation – e.g., to support universities and medical centers and to fund scholarships – and to realize commercial investments which were previously hampered by the lengthy legal battle against AUA.”

Sheikh Al Jaber is the founder and CEO of MBI International Holdings, a global investment firm primarily engaged in the hospitality, construction, urban development, food, and oil & gas industries. With total assets exceeding $11 billion, the company takes pride in investing ethically, forging strong ties with local communities, and ensuring a prosperous future. MBI is on the cutting edge of innovations in sustainable housing, strategic commodity storage, and food processing. 

Sheikh Al Jaber is also the founding patron and chairperson of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, a 25-year-old philanthropic organization dedicated to promoting education, good governance, cultural dialogue, and democracy in the Middle East. The Foundation has enabled thousands of young people to pursue higher education at some of the world’s most prestigious universities.

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