Investor seeks TUI chair, Hapag-Lloyd sale probe
A major investor in the former parent company of container line Hapag-Lloyd is calling on fellow shareholders to back him as he seeks to oust the current chairman, according to a report Monday by Bloomberg.
John Fredriksen, a Norwegian shipping magnate who owns a nearly 17 percent share of European tour operator TUI AG, wants to oust TUI Chairman Juergen Krumnow and board member Abel Matutes Juan over differences in strategy. He made his case at TUI’s annual general meeting Monday.
TUI until last year owned Hapag-Lloyd, but sold off two-thirds of the company to a consortium of Hamburg investors as it sought to divest itself of the container business.
In the wake of the current global economic crisis, the deal was renegotiated until TUI maintained a 43 percent share of Hapag.
Bloomberg reported that Fredriksen at first backed the plan to sell the line, but then reversed course when the economic downturn started, fearing the line's assets would be undervalued. Krumnow also called on TUI shareholders to commence an investigation 'into the appropriate publication of insider information during the sale of TUI's Hapag-Lloyd shipping line,' the news agency reported.
Fredriksen upped his stake in TUI from 15 percent to 16.8 percent in April, the first time reports circulated that he intended to oust Krumnow. He tried to rally similar support at last year’s general meeting but failed, though TUI eventually heeded his call to sell Hapag-Lloyd.