‘Clear advantages’ to quitting London Stock Exchange, says Tui

Tui

Travel giant Tui has said there are “clear advantages” to abandoning the London Stock Exchange as its board pursues a delisting in the UK.

Europe’s biggest travel operator on Thursday urged investors to support its plans to quit London’s bourse ahead of a meeting in February where shareholders will cast their vote.

Tui, which currently holds a dual listing in Frankfurt and London, said that switching to a sole listing in Germany would reduce complexity.

Mathias Kiep, chief financial officer, said: “Terminating the listing in London would offer clear advantages for investors and the company: Simplification of structures, improvement in liquidity and indexation as well as benefits for the EU ownership of our airlines.”

Tui’s planned departure deals yet another blow to the City amid concerns about its ability to attract and retain companies following a recent exodus of listed firms being taken private or moving overseas.

The company first announced it was considering the move in December after shareholders questioned whether its dual listing structure was still “optimal and advantageous”.

Tui became a member of both stock exchanges in 2014 after West Sussex-based leisure group Tui Travel, known for its Thomson and First Choice travel agencies, merged with its largest shareholder, Germany’s Tui AG.

The £4.5bn deal created one of the world’s largest tourism businesses, which boasted more than 400 hotels, 16 cruise ships, 1,200 travel agencies and five airlines.

Mr Kiep said that although the dual listing had been the “right decision and offered many advantages”, most of Tui’s stocks are now bought and sold in Germany.

The company said: “There has been a notable liquidity migration from the UK to Germany, around 77pc of share transactions are conducted directly through the German share register and less than a quarter of trading in TUI shares is carried out in the form of UK depositary interests.”

Tui instead wants to be upgraded to Frankfurt’s Prime Standard, the premium end of the German stock exchange which only lists companies that comply with higher transparency standards.

Delisting from London would also see Tui join MDAX, an index tracking the performance of mid-cap companies trading in Germany.

The tourism group said it is seeking to upgrade its Frankfurt listing by April and leave the London Stock Exchange by June.

The latest plans were recommended by Tui’s executive and supervisory boards following extensive consultations with shareholders.

Tui was relegated from London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index in early 2020 after global travel restrictions during the pandemic caused its shares to crash.

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