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  • 2020 February 10 13:04

    TUI AG to sell Hapag-Lloyd Cruises unit to JV TUI Cruises in €1.2 bln deal

    TUI and Royal Caribbean are significantly enlarging their TUI Cruises joint venture to accelerate growth of luxury brand Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the company said in its release.

    Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will be the second pillar of the successful joint venture, providing an ideal starting point for accelerated growth in TUI’s Cruise division.

    Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is valued at 1.2 billion euros. Faster growth and the envisaged synergies will allow for significant additional value potential.

    TUI Group and its longstanding partner Royal Caribbean Cruises are planning to expand their luxury, expedition and premium cruise segment and to attract new target audiences for luxury cruise products. The expansion of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises brand will be at the core of this strategy. The former TUI Group subsidiary will be integrated into the TUI Cruises joint venture, a successful structure having been established by TUI and Royal Caribbean since 2008.

    A contract signed in Hamburg values Hapag-Lloyd Cruises at 1.2 billion euros. The closing of the transaction is expected for this summer. Under the joint venture profit-sharing agreement TUI will report 50 percent of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ earnings.

    With the transaction, TUI and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. have agreed to further expand their partnership by using the proven joint venture structure of TUI Cruises also for the luxury and expedition cruise segment.

    TUI Group’s plans for the expansion of the Cruises segment will be expedited by the transaction. As a result of limited global shipbuilding capacity, TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff fleet are not scheduled for the next three new build deliveries until 2023, 2024 and 2026.

    The integration of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in the joint venture will allow TUI to participate in global cruise industry growth at a low level of capital expenditure.

    Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is part of the TUI Group’s cruise businesses and is the leading provider of luxury and expedition cruises in German-speaking markets. Its fleet currently consists of two luxury ships within the five star plus category and three expedition cruise ships. A further expedition cruise ship has been ordered and will be added to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet in 2021 to replace MS Bremen. In light of the transaction it is possible that the luxury and expedition fleet will grow in the coming years.

    TUI Group will use the transaction proceeds to strengthen the Group’s balance sheet and to drive its transformation into a digital organisation. The first stage of the transformation, which began in 2013, saw the company evolve from a traditional tour operator model into a successful developer, investor and operator of hotels and cruise ships, as well as destination activity provider. Now the next phase – TUI’s transformation to a digital platform organisation – has begun. Digital business models, as well as the Hotels, Resorts and Cruises divisions, will be the TUI Group’s mainstays in the future. However, growth and investments in hotels and cruise business will be less capital intensive. This ‘asset light’ strategy was announced in December 2019. Asset light expansion has already been adopted for hotel investments such as the brand TUI Blue and now also for the cruise brands.

    About TUI Group

    TUI Group is the world’s leading integrated tourism group operating in more than 100 destinations worldwide. The company is headquartered in Germany. The TUI Group’s share is listed in the FTSE 100 index, the leading index of the London Stock Exchange, and in the German open market.

    In financial year 2019, TUI Group recorded turnover of around €19bn and an operating result of €893m. The Group employs more than 70,000 people worldwide. TUI offers its 28 million customers, including 21 million customers in European national companies, integrated services from a single source. It covers the entire tourism value chain under one roof. This comprises more than 400 hotels and resorts with premium brands such as RIU, TUI Blue and Robinson as well as 18 cruise ships ranging from the MS Europa and MS Europa 2 luxury class vessels and expedition ships to the Mein Schiff fleet of TUI Cruises and the vessels of Marella Cruises in the UK. The Group also includes leading European tour operator brands, five airlines with 150 modern medium- and long-haul aircraft and 1,600 travel agencies. Apart from the expansion of its core business with hotels, cruises and destination activities, TUI is increasingly investing in digital platforms. The Group is transforming as a digital company.

    Global responsibility for sustainable economic, ecological and social activity is a key feature of our corporate culture. TUI Care Foundation, initiated by TUI, promotes the positive effects of tourism, education and training as well as environmental and social standards with projects in 25 countries. It thus contributes to the development of the holiday destinations. TUI Care Foundation, operating around the world, initiates projects creating new opportunities for the next generation.


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