TUI Travel PLC announces that it has agreed to sell the majority of its interests in The Airline Group Limited (“Airline Group”), a shareholder in UK Air Traffic controller NATS Holdings Limited (“NATS”), for cash consideration of approximately £38 million.
TUI Travel will sell 87.4% of its shareholding and loan note interests in Airline Group, which holds a 41.9% stake in NATS, to Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, acting as sole corporate trustee of Universities Superannuation Scheme (“USS”). Following the transaction, TUI Travel will retain a small stub shareholding in Airline Group.
The transaction is expected to complete during the first quarter of calendar year 2014 and is subject to clearance from the European Commission.
Will Waggott, Chief Financial Officer of TUI Travel PLC, commented:
"Following the merger and subsequent creation of TUI Travel in 2007 our interests in Airline Group were identified as non-core. We are pleased to sell the majority of our interests in Airline Group and at a value that exceeds the current carrying value of the investment."
Analysts & Investors
Andy Long, Director of Strategy & Investor Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1293 645 795
Tej Randhawa, Investor Relations Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1293 645 829
Sarah Coomes, Investor Relations Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1293 645 827
Lesley Allan, Corporate Communications Director
Tel: +44 (0)1293 645 790
Mike Ward, External Communications Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1293 645 776
Michael Sandler / Katie Matthews (Hudson Sandler)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7796 4133
Notes to Editors –
- Thomas Cook Group plc, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited have also agreed to sell the majority of their stakes in Airline Group on the same terms and at the same time as TUI Travel. The combined shareholding being sold to USS represents a non-controlling stake of 49.9%, with each seller retaining a small proportion of their holding.
- As at 30 September 2013, TUI Travel held a 14.3% interest in the shares and a 13.9% interest in the loan notes issued by Airline Group. Post transaction, these interests will reduce to 1.8% of the shares and 1.8% of the loan notes issued by Airline Group.
- British Airways PLC, easyJet, Airline Company Limited and Monarch Airlines Retirement Benefit Plan Limited will retain all of their share and loan note interests in Airline Group.
TUI Travel PLC
TUI Travel PLC is one of the world’s leading international leisure travel groups operating in approximately 180 countries worldwide. It serves more than 30 million customers in over 31 source markets. Headquartered in the UK, the Group employs approximately 54,000 people and operates a pan-European airline group consisting of 141 aircraft. The Company is organised and managed through three business Sectors: Mainstream, Specialist & Activity and Accommodation & Destinations. In the financial year ended 30 September 2012 TUI Travel had revenues of £14.5bn and an underlying operating profit of £490m.
For more information visit www.tuitravelplc.com
Airline Group is a 41.9% shareholder in NATS Holdings Limited, the holding company for NATS, which is a world leader in the provision of air traffic management, including ensuring the safety of aircraft flying in UK airspace and over the eastern North Atlantic. Airline Group is currently owned by seven shareholders, as identified in notes 1 and 3 above.
Universities Superannuation Scheme was established in 1975 as the principal defined benefit pension scheme for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK. It has over 300,000 scheme members across nearly 400 institutions and is one of the largest pension schemes in the UK, with total fund assets of approximately £40 billion.
The scheme's trustee is Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, a corporate trustee which provides scheme management and trusteeship from its offices based in Liverpool and London. The trustee company manages virtually all assets in-house via a wholly-owned investment management subsidiary company - USS Investment Management Limited (USSIM Limited) - which provides both investment management and advisory services.
For more information on Universities Superannuation Scheme please go to www.uss.co.uk