Egyptian tycoon Sawiris to buy into German travel group FTI

FRANKFURT, March 3 Mon Mar 3, 2014 12:06pm EST

FRANKFURT, March 3 (Reuters) - Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris is taking a stake of 25 percent to 35 percent in FTI, Germany's fourth-biggest tour operator, the two parties said on Monday.

"We aim for cooperation with an eye to the long run," Sawiris said in a statement.

FTI's founder and chief will keep a majority of shares in the company, which competes with Europe's biggest travel firm TUI .

FTI, which has about 3,500 employees and posted sales of 2.1 billion euros ($2.9 billion) last year, said it had been agreed not to say how much Sawiris was paying for the stake.

Sawiris, a member of Egypt's richest family, runs Orascom Development Holding, operating tourist resorts and real estate projects in Egypt and Europe.

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A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

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