The Riu Festival Hotel in Playa de Palma. | Archive

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The Mallorca-based Riu Group is to acquire TUI's 49% ownership of nineteen hotels that operate under the Riu Hotels & Resorts brand. The hotel group will also be acquiring two projects that are currently under development - one in Mexico, the other in Senegal. The total value of the acquisition is said to be 670 million euros.

At present, Riu has a 51% holding in these hotels. On Thursday, the TUI board approved the sale of the tour operator's 49% share.

A statement from Riu says that "loyalty" has characterised the negotiations for the acquisition. Both companies are keen to maintain and strengthen what has been a long-standing relationship. TUI will retain a 50% stake in RIUSA II S.A., a company that manages and operates Riu hotels and which TUI and Riu set up in 1993.

The operation is related to the crisis situation that Covid has provoked and which has had such a harmful impact on the tourism industry. Despite this, Riu's debt management - "an extraordinary effort" - enables the company to "continue to support its long-term strategic and commercial partner".

Riu adds that total ownership of the hotels will offer greater flexibility in effecting changes in the near future, that the company will continue to work on business reactivation and with the intention of retaining all jobs.