UPDATE 2-TUI to sell specialist holiday business in mass market drive

Wed May 11, 2016 6:01am EDT
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* Proceeds to be used for future growth, balance sheet

* On track for full-year earnings growth target

* Shares drop 2.3 pct (Adds CEO comment, analyst comment, share price)

By Sarah Young and Victoria Bryan

LONDON/FRANKFURT, May 11 (Reuters) - European travel group TUI is to sell its specialist adventure and education holiday brands to focus on its main mass market tourism business and plans to use proceeds from disposals for future growth.

TUI said on Wednesday that the specialist brands did not fit with its main holiday and cruise group, which in its 2014-15 financial year accounted for almost 85 percent of revenues.

This follows the sale last month of TUI's Hotelbeds business for around 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

These M&A deals are the latest step by TUI management to reshape the tourism group which was created in 2014 by the merger of London-listed TUI Travel and German majority owner TUI AG. TUI also owns a little more than 12 percent of shipping group Hapag-Lloyd, which it plans to sell, although it has said is under no time pressure to do so.

The company's shares fell 2.3 percent, which analysts said was in response to TUI's plan to keep hold of disposal proceeds.   Continued...