Looking back at TUI Sport

Ben wraps up his time at TUI Sport and tells us what he can from the secret world of mergers and acquisitions

This post comes with a great deal of hindsight, as I summarise my first placement while I’m more than half way through the second, but it feels like a week rather than seven!

I finished my role in the Sport Division with a report on the product and distribution review I’d put together and a presentation to the Sport Division board, highlighting my findings and recommendations. It seemed well received and was a gratifying end to some hard work.

I enjoyed my time in Sport and the level of autonomy in my role, despite the challenges this posed as a new starter. With a project spanning the division it gave me the opportunity to visit all the businesses, understand how the division operates strategically and meet lots of people.

If it lacked anything; it was an operational perspective of tour operating and not just strategic – but no doubt this will be addressed elsewhere. I left feeling positive, but looking forward to working as part of a closer team with the chance for some more passive learning.

Since the start of February I’ve been in the Sector Business Development team based in TUI Travel House, Crawley. There are three threads to this teams responsibilities; mergers and acquisition of new businesses; disposal of our businesses; and sector strategy.

I have been keen on getting exposure to this process for a long time (I looked at applying to Private Equity firms before TUI, but was put off by the need for accountancy qualifications!) as it gives great exposure to what a good business looks like.

It’s been a great place to learn about our Sector and each division; arriving at the start of the strategic planning or `Managing for Value` process, as we come to put together a `Factbase` to identify the market characteristics and financial performance of each division.

With responsibility for the completing the Sport and North American Specialist division fact bases, and involvement in the others, this role has taken me to Florida, had me sat in on divisional business reviews to the board, and got me thinking about where in all of these businesses I’d like to end up.

The next few weeks will be spent looking into prospective markets for TUI to move into…but that’s as much as I can say…..its top secret for now.

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