TUI AG, the world’s largest tour operator, has sold its remaining 8.5 million shares in Hapag-Lloyd AG, the Hamburg based listed container shipping company in a move that raised about €244 million.
“The disposal took place in an open market block trade (Accelerated Book Building) to a guaranteed minimum price close to today’s market closing. Prior to this trade TUI AG had already disposed 6.0 million shares in individual open market transactions since March 2017,” the Hannover, Germany, based company said in a statement.
Horst Baier,CFO, said in the statement: “By disposing of all of its remaining Hapag-Lloyd AG shares TUI AG successfully concludes its non-core business disposal program as defined after the merger between TUI AG and TUI Travel PLC in December 2014, achieving its strategic objective to transform TUI AG into a pure play vertically integrated tourism group.”
“As announced the revenues will be used for the transformation to an integrated tourism business with the focus in own hotel brands and cruises and in strengthen the balance sheet,” he added.
TUI acquired Hapag-Lloyd in the 1990s because the last named company had a substantial tourism business that included an airline and cruise ships.
Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, the luxury and expedition market cruise shipping unit, remains part of the TUI AG group and the company said it would invest the proceeds from the sale of the shares in the container line to grow its business, including cruise activities.