The merger of TUI Travel of Britain and Germany’s TUI AG completed earlier this morning, creating the largest leisure and tourism company in the world.
The new company will be known as TUI Group.
Friedrich Joussen, joint chief executive, TUI AG, said: “Today is a great day for our company.
“The first day of the new TUI is the start of the world’s leading integrated tourism business.
“TUI is a thoroughly international Group with strong roots in Europe.
“Our 77,000 employees in 130 countries make sure that our customers experience unique holidays.
“Under the roof of the new TUI Group we want to grow and increase our international market position.
“Therefore, this is a good day for our customers, our shareholders and our employees.
“TUI is a pioneer in shaping the future of the tourism industry in terms of service, quality and innovation.”
London-listed TUI Travel and TUI AG, the British company’s biggest shareholder, reached an agreement in September on the terms of a £5.15 billion merger.
The tie-up had long expected following the creation of TUI Travel in 2007 from the merger of Britain’s First Choice and the travel business of TUI AG, which had owned around 55 percent of the London-listed company.
Klaus Mangold, chairman of the supervisory board of TUI AG, said: “TUI and TUI Travel are now one company – with this, we will combine the best of both organisations to deliver growth.
“I would like to thank everybody who made this great step possible.
“Let’s now use this unique opportunity to open a new and successful chapter for our shareholders, employees and customers.”
The merger is expected to result in £150 million of costs savings and tax benefits and will streamline a cumbersome holding structure that includes headquarters in both Britain and Germany and two separate stock market listings.
Peter Long, joint chief executive of TUI AG, said: “This is a fantastic day for TUI, now the world’s number one integrated leisure tourism business.
“We will successfully future proof our new Group by securing long-term access to unique content which will allow us to accelerate our growth plans.
“In addition, we have identified significant efficiencies and cost savings.
“All this will lead to greater shareholder value, from our first full financial year.
“Personally, I am very excited about what the future holds and the opportunities that lie ahead for us as TUI Group.”