TUI AG has disposed of all its remaining shares in Hapag-Lloyd to exit the container shipping business and focus on tourism.
The disposal of 8.5 million shares took place in an open market block trade. Prior to this trade, TUI had already disposed six million shares in individual open market transactions since March 2017.
The disposal marks the successful conclusion of the group's non-core business disposal program as defined after the merger between TUI AG and TUI Travel in December 2014. “The revenues will be used for the transformation to an integrated tourism business with the focus in own hotel brands and cruises and in strengthening the balance sheet,” says Horst Baier, TUI Group CFO.
In March 2009, TUI sold Hapag-Lloyd, which was its shipping subsidiary, to a group of German investors but retained a 43.3 percent share. It began divesting this share in 2011.
The TUI group includes three cruise lines: TUI Cruises, Thomson Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. In the first half of the financial year, TUI Cruises and Thomson Cruises experienced strong growth due to the successful expansion of their fleets in summer 2016 with Mein Schiff 5 and TUI Discovery. For 2018 and 2019, TUI UK is planning to acquire the cruise ships Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 from TUI Cruises GmbH as a straight cash transaction. TUI UK will then take over the vessels from TUI Cruises.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also showed a positive performance in the first half of the year and will expand and modernize its fleet in the medium term: In 2019, the two new luxury and expedition cruise ships Hanseatic nature and Hanseatic inspiration will join the fleet.
The TUI Group a top integrated tourism group operating in around 180 destinations worldwide. With cruise ships ranging from the MS Europa and MS Europa 2 luxury class vessels to the Mein Schiff fleet of TUI Cruises and the vessels of Thomson Cruises in the U.K., the group says is strongly positioned in the growing cruise sector.
TUI offers its 20 million customers comprehensive services from a single source covering the entire tourist value chain. The group includes tour operators and travel agencies in Europe, five European airlines with around 150 modern medium and long-haul aircraft and over 300 Group-owned hotels and resorts.