Germany’s Tui rules out buying up British entity

Germany’s TUI yesterday denied a weekend report that claimed it was planning to bid for the minority stake in TUI Travel it does not already own, with a view to delisting the UK business.

“There are neither plans nor decisions as to how we want to develop our core tourism business in the future,” a spokesman for the German parent said.

TUI holds 54 per cent of TUI Travel. Talks to delist Europe’s biggest tour operator, which makes up almost 90 per cent of TUI’s annual underlying operating profit, were thought to have taken place in the last few weeks.

Investment banks Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan were believed to have been among those talking to the German parent’s management to discuss options.

TUI chief executive Michael Frenzel has said in the past that a prerequisite for expanding its tourism business is the sale of TUI’s 43 per cent stake in container shipping company Hapag Lloyd.

TUI Travel in London declined to comment.