Tui to shore up Hapag Lloyd

Tui has confirmed that Hapag-Lloyd had asked for €1.75bn, but it remains unconfirmed what percentage it will provide, and what would come from the Albert Ballin consortium of Hamburg that now owns 57 percent of the company.

The two groups look unlikely to provide the full demand for €1.75bn, and a final decision on exact amounts would be made at the next supervisory board meeting at the beginning of August, Tui said.

Neither Hapag-Lloyd nor the Albert Ballin consortium wished to comment.

Like other large container lines, Hapag-Lloyd has been hit hard by the downturn, and lost €222m in the first quarter of this year and is expected to record a significant loss for the whole year.

Klaus-Michael Kühne, a logistics entrepreneur and the largest shareholder in the Albert Ballin consortium, has attacked the management’s handling of the crisis, saying they were not fast enough to cut staff in the face of the downturn.

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Many observers believe the task of managing the line has become more complicated since March’s sale because Hamburg’s state government now holds a stake and is unwilling to see politically unpopular job cutbacks.