The share purchase makes Kühne Holding VTG's second-largest shareholder, after Andreas Goer, which owns 29%. A further 10% is held by the Hamburg-based Joachim Herz Stiftung. Wilbur Ross acquired VTG from TUI in 2005 and listed the company on the stock market in 2007.

"I am very pleased that we have gained a strong, experienced investor in the shape of Kühne Holding, whose long-term investment horizon matches our business model very well," Dr Heiko Fischer, chairman of the executive board of VTG, commented.

VTG revenue's dropped from €251.7m in the first quarter of 2015 to €243.8m in the first quarter of 2016, and Ebitda fell from €83.6m to €81.6m over the same period. Nevertheless net profit more than doubled from €5.3m in the first quarter 2015 to €11.8m for the first quarter of this year.