Tui AG is to dispose of its remaining holding in container shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd sparking speculation that it make seek to gain full control of Tui Travel.

Shares in Tui Travel rose as much as 3.8% to 158p in London on the news. German-based Tui AG will tender a 33.3% holding in Hapag-Lloyd to majority owner, Hamburg-based Albert Balin.

Chief executive Michael Frenzel said: “Our exit from container shipping was set down more than three years ago with all partners in the Hamburg-based consortium.

“In the current year, we have already reduced our invested capital by 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion). Exercising our tender right is now the next consistent step.”

Tui AG is the majority shareholder in Tui Travel, Europe’s largest travel group, and is seen as a likely contender to buy out the remaining stake as it seeks expansion in Russia, China and India.