TUI Examining All Options To Boost Pandemic Defences, Says CEO
Holiday company TUI is considering additional state aid, raising new equity and potential disposals to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, its chief executive has said.
Sources close to the matter told Reuters last week that TUI was in talks with the German government about up to €1.8 billion in state aid because two earlier bailouts have proved insufficient.
"At the moment we cannot and must not exclude any option, not even that we need additional loans," TUI CEO Friedrich Joussen told German magazine Der Spiegel in a newly-published interview. "Nor can we rule out the possibility of raising new equity or selling parts of the company at an appropriate time."
The Hanover-based group's revenue collapsed in its third quarter, tumbling by 98% because of coronavirus travel restrictions. It has cut costs by 70% and has already called on €3 billion of government support in one form or another.
TUI has assets that would be of interest to investors, such as hotels and real estate, Joussen said.
"We could bundle part of that in property funds, thus rising hidden reserves," he said, adding that there will be no emergency sales.
The CEO said that he has great hopes that business can recover quickly once a COVID-19 vaccine is available.
Last week, US drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech released data showing that their vaccine was 90% effective in a large clinical trial, lifting hopes that inoculations could start early next year.
"A Transition Year"
"2021 will still be a transition year, with summer bookings so far being very strong," Joussen said. "For 2022, we expect demand to be at pre-crisis level."