FTI founder Dietmar Gunz, his wife Roula Jouny and shareholder Samih Sawiris at the opening of Design Plus Hotel Seya Beach in Turkey in 2019.
Samih Sawiris intends to take over a majority interest in FTI Group. The Egyptian investor is already a shareholder of the Munich-based tourism group and is involved in the financing package which was finalized last week.
Samih Sawiris, the Egyptian entrepreneur who already holds a minority stake in FTI Group, wants to acquire control over the third-largest European tour operator (with €4.2 billion in turnover in 2019). This is evident from an application for registration at the German federal antitrust authorities. According to that, the Luxemburg-based financial holding SOSTNT controlled by Sawiris seeks the "takeover of a majority stake" and "sole control" over Munich-based FTl Finanzholding. FTI has not commented on the application. A company spokesperson only said that nothing has been completed.
Last Friday, FTI Group reported on a financial package for the next twelve months. Besides the package which was supported by FTI’s preferred bank Unicredit and which includes guarantees from the German Federal Government and the states of Bavaria, Thuringia and Berlin, it was announced that there was also a "financial commitment" by the shareholders. The main shareholders in FTI Group are founder and CEO Dietmar Gunz who holds a majority, and Sawiris with a share of 33.6%.
Sawiris has had an investment in FTI since 2014. He comes from a multi-billion dollar Egyptian entrepreneurial family. Sawiris' Orascom Development Holding develops integrated holiday resorts such as El Gouna and Taba Heights in Egypt, Salalah in Oman or Andermatt in Switzerland and, moreover, residential properties in Egypt. Overall, the group manages 33 hotels with 7,205 rooms and controls approximately 25,000 acres of land. FTI is an important marketing and sales partner for Orascom, especially for its destinations in Egypt and Oman.
With Sawiris taking over control, FTI Group would gain stability in the current crisis caused by the corona virus. Sawiris, who, moreover, holds a majority stake in the German travel agency chain RT Group, has already supported the Munich-based tour operator group in the recent past, e.g with guarantees and by taking over Sonnenklar TV, which sells vacation trips via TV, internet, call centers and travel agencies.