Tourism giant TUI has sold its container-shipping division Hapag-Lloyd in a deal worth €4.45 billion.
German-based TUI AG is the parent company of TUI Travel, which owns Thomson Holidays, First Choice and many other leading travel names and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
It has sold Hapag-Lloyd to a consortium backed by the city of Hamburg in which the shipping company is based. However, TUI will retain a one-third share of the company, knocking €700 million off the price.
Hapag-Lloyd was all that remained of a raft of heavy industry concerns previously owned by the German group, which has developed into Europe’s biggest travel group through a decade of acquisitions. TUI merged with First Choice and established TUI Travel last September. TUI AG is likely to use some of the cash from the deal to increase its majority holding in TUI Travel.