TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Cruises are to expand the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises brand by integrating it into their TUI Cruises joint venture.
The merger of TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises under the joint venture will create a European cruise company with a current combined fleet of twelve ships.
The deal for the joint venture to buy Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is valued at €1.2 billion on a debt and cash-free basis and will be concluded in the summer, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.
TUI and Royal Caribbean Cruises set up the TUI Cruises joint venture in 2008.
TUI CEO Fritz Joussen said: “We’re changing the ownership structure behind the brand to facilitate stronger, faster and capital-light growth. At the same time, we will use the proceeds to drive TUI’s digital transformation.”
TUI said the deal will speed up its plans for expansion in the cruise sector and will allow TUI to participate in global cruise industry growth at a low level of capital expenditure.
Joussen added: “The ships’ identities, service, quality and customer experience will remain as individual and unique as they are today. This will create significant advantages for the Group, for our expansion and for our investments.”
“The expansion decision is the next big step of growth for us – from a strategic and a commercial perspective.”