The debt-ridden Thomas Cook has been taken over by a Chinese conglomerate, Fosun.
Fosun snaps up the oldest name in world tourism, Thomas Cook ‘s trademarks, websites and social media for £11m. The deal, which also includes hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook’s Club, gives Chinese group Fosun access to Thomas Cook trademarks, websites, social media accounts and software across most of the world.
The 178-year old British institution declared bankruptcy in September after an attempt to secure USD 250 million from private investors fell through. Thomas Cook's demise in September sparked 22,000 job losses worldwide and triggered Britain's biggest repatriation since World War second, with the government paying to fly home 1,40,000 tourists.
Fosun, which was Thomas Cook’s largest shareholder and a key part of the failed rescue deal, owns a variety of businesses including Club Med and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Thomas Cook collapsed after running up huge debts as it expanded through takeovers amid stiff competition from online rivals. The company’s UK branch network was bought for £6m by John and Irene Hays, who run Sunderland-based Hays Travel.
Other parts of the company have continued to trade during the liquidation. Billionaire property tycoon Petter Stordalen led a deal this week to acquire Thomas Cook’s Nordic business, also known as the Ving Group. It includes brands such as Globetrotter, Spies and Thomas Cook’s Scandinavian airline.
The brand name deal, marked the final chapter in Fosun’s approaches to Thomas Cook. Fosun was a key player in a proposed £900m bailout in August. It offered to inject hundreds of millions of pounds, but the deal fell through when the firm failed to secure further backing from other lenders or the government.