FRANKFURT May 15 TUI AG believes an initial public offering of its 22 percent stake in shipper Hapag-Lloyd is a more probable option than a trade sale, chief executive Friedrich Joussen said on Wednesday.
"An IPO seems to be the right direction, but we would be open for a trade sale," Joussen told analysts. "But if a trade sale were obvious, my telephone would have been ringing."
He said TUI would have "appreciated" a merger between Hapag-Lloyd and rival shipper Hamburg Sued and that TUI would have gone for that option over waiting for capital markets to reach the right conditions for an IPO.
Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Sued called off talks to create the world's fourth largest shipper in March. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Harro ten Wolde)