WestLB in Talks to sell TUI Stake | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 21.10.2004
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Business

WestLB in Talks to sell TUI Stake

WestLB, the German public sector bank, is to begin talks next week to sell its 31.3-percent stake in Europe's biggest travel group TUI to a Spanish consortium, the business daily Handelsblatt reported Thursday. The consortium includes hotel group Lopesan and construction firm Satocan, both active in the Canary Islands, a popular destination for German holidaymakers. The two companies will be backed in the consortium by Spanish banks, Banco Santander, Banco Bilbao, Banco Espanol de Credito and Barcelona-based Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones, the newspaper said, quoting sources close to the matter. Based on the closing price of TUI shares on Wednesday of €16.09, WestLB's stake in the travel giant is currently worth around €900 million ($1.1 billion). Handelsblatt said the Spanish consortium could buy a stake of just 29 percent in TUI, so as not to be compelled under German law to make a public takeover offer for the remaining shares. WestLB declined to comment on the report, saying simply that it was in talks with a number of different interested parties. (AFP)

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