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TUI secures third bailout in COVID-19 travel slump survival battle

FRANKFURT/BERLIN: TUI secured a third bailout on Wednesday, striking a deal with private investors, banks and the German government for an extra €1.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) as the world’s largest holiday company tries to ride out the coronavirus-linked travel slump.

London-listed TUI has already received €3 billion in state loans this year and the latest government aid prompted calls from opposition lawmakers for Berlin to ensure that it came with strings attached.

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TUI, which last year took 23 million people on holiday, lost €1.1 billion euros in the second quarter after the COVID-19 pandemic brought global travel to a halt.

The travel slump has wiped out TUI’s revenue and strained its balance sheet as it burned through between €550 million and €650 million a month.

TUI’s largest shareholder, Russian billionaire Alexey Mordashov, who owns 25 per cent of the company, said he is expanding his investment in TUI Group as part of the capital measures.

Including the new rescue package, TUI now has €2.5 billion as of the end of November, its chief executive Fritz Joussen said, adding that TUI was healthy before the crisis and now has the funds to prepare for life after the pandemic.

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The package comes with a ban on management bonuses and dividends, a German economy ministry spokeswoman said.

However, budget lawmaker Sven-Christian Kindler from the opposition Greens called on the government to include strict rules on climate and job protection into the package.

“The federal government must not repeat the same mistakes it made with the Lufthansa rescue deal,” Kindler said, referring to a bailout of Germany’s flagship airline in June.

The new TUI rescue package includes a €500 million capital increase with subscription rights and a €420 million so-called silent participation from Germany’s economic support fund WSF, which can be converted into equity at any time.

It also includes a non-convertible equity hybrid from the WSF worth €280 million, a state guarantee of €400 million, an additional credit facility from state bank KfW of €200 million and the extension of an existing KfW credit facility to July 2022.


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