Egyptian Billionaire Samih Sawiris’ European Tourism Firm Declares Bankruptcy

FTI Group, a leading tourism corporation majority-owned by Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris, has filed for bankruptcy in Munich District Court. The company alleged extreme financial strain caused by vendors requesting advance payments that exceeded its financial capacity.

The Munich Regional Court file discloses FTI Group’s extreme financial strain, caused by suppliers seeking advance payments that exceed the company’s financial capacity. In response, FTI established a hotline and website to assist consumers, and announced that all trips beginning June 4 will be canceled or partially fulfilled. This setback is expected to affect hundreds of summer holiday plans.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that a travel insurance fund will handle repatriation and provide assistance to impacted travelers. However, the Economic Affairs Ministry condemned the insolvency as “tragic” and indicated that it could not provide any more support.

A representative for the Finance Ministry stated that the government would assess the impact of the recovery help provided to FTI during the pandemic. The official noted that minimal recovery from outstanding claims is expected because the government was seeking authority to sell receivables prior to the bankruptcy, which is now impossible.

FTI Group employs 11,000 people worldwide and provides tours to 40+ places, working with 10,000 agencies in Germany. It offers travel experiences in over 120 countries, including self-drive holidays, beach vacations, individual tours, cruises, city breaks, and long-distance trips. FTI’s hotel business, which includes brands including Labranda Hotels & Resorts and Kairaba Hotels & Resorts, operates over 50 hotels across eight countries.

Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris, who owns 75.1 percent of FTI Group, resigned as chairman of Orascom Development Holding (ODH) in December 2021. His son, Naguib Samih Sawiris, took over the role.

Last week, ODH sold shares in its UAE-based tourism company, RAK Tourism Investment FZC, for $40 million. The transaction includes the full share capital of RAK, which owns the leasehold rights to The Cove Rotana Hotel, a 349-room luxury resort in Ras Al Khaimah.

Written by PH

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