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Shareholders clash over TUI's course

 Shareholders clash over TUI's course
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A turbulent annual shareholders meeting for TUI, the German tourism and shipping company. Its biggest stockholder, Norwegian John Fredriksen, was trying to force the resignation of Chief Executive Michael Frenzel and Chairman Juergen Krumnow and block the sale of its shipping unit Hapag-Lloyd.

Smaller shareholders and some TUI employees demonstrated against Fredriksen’s plans. Christoph Grossmann, a spokesman for the small TUI investors, said: “I hope that Mr Fredriksen doesn’t get a majority which would sent the message that you can just buy a company and then slash assets and sell it, to exploit it at will.”

Fredricksen, who owns 11.7% of TUI’s shares, was not at the meeting because of ill health, but his representative Tor Olav Troim said: “I thing the most important thing is that this company should re-state what is normal corporate governance, and that we run this company as an ordinary company, and also that we develop the company and make a profit; this company has not effectively delivered a return to shareholders for 14 years and I think it is time to develop it into a profitable company.”

Hapag-Lloyd, is the world’s fifth-largest container shipping firm worth 4.6 billion euros. At the shareholders’ meeting TUI reported a narrower first-quarter loss due to increased tourism demand and higher freight rates.