Tui, one of the world’s largest tour operators, is considering whether to leave the London Stock Exchange, which would be a further blow to the city’s reputation as a global financial center.
The German company, which is listed in both London and Frankfurt, said in a statement on Wednesday that it had been contacted by some shareholders to discuss “whether the current listing structure is optimal” and whether a “delisting from the London Stock Exchange “is in the best interests of shareholders.”
It added that a significant portion of trading in its shares had emigrated from the United Kingdom to Germany in the last four years. The potential benefits of a single listing in Frankfurt include “centralization of liquidity, a clearer investment profile… as well as reduction of costs,” Tui said, emphasizing that “no decision has been made.”
The board is considering voting on delisting at the company’s annual general meeting in February.
The announcement will raise fears about the future of Britain’s main stock exchange, where several companies have moved their initial listings to New York or chosen Wall Street for their initial public offerings in the last 18 months – most notably Softbank-backed chip maker ARM Holdings (ARM ). the crown jewel of the UK tech sector.
Tui’s delisting “would be a major blow to the London Stock Exchange, which is struggling with exodus of companies and the poor performance of London-listed stocks,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investments at online investment platform Interactive Investor. said in a note.
After decades of staying ahead of other European capitals, London now competes directly with cities like Amsterdam and Paris, vying for the position as Europe’s largest stock trading hub and most valuable stock market.
Tui, headquartered in Hanover, owns more than 400 hotels, 16 cruise ships, five airlines and 1,200 travel agencies. According to its website, the group has 21 million customers and employs more than 60,000 people.
Tui, which has a market value of 3.2 billion euros ($3.5 billion), reported revenue of 20.7 billion euros ($22.3 billion) for the year to September 30-25 % more than last year and a new record.
Adjusted operating profit more than doubled to 977 million euros ($1 billion).
The company also forecast robust growth in its market share, revenue and profit for the current financial year Year. “The current winter bookings and the first signs for next summer suggest further improvement can be expected for 2024,” said CEO Sebastian Ebel.
Tui shares rose almost 10% in London on Wednesday but are still down about 28% this year, “reflecting investors’ concerns about the huge mountain of debt” and the decision to hold shares earlier this year to spend at a discount to pay off those debts, according to Scholar.
“Net debt at year-end stands at 2.1 billion euros ($2.3 billion), although that is significantly 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) less than last year,” she said.