The Fosun Tourism Group has bought the Thomas Cook brand, along with the Casa Cook and Cook’s Club hotel brands, for £11 million (€12.8m). The Chinese travel giant, which owns Club Med, said it had always believed in Thomas Cook’s brand value – and plans to use the brand for online retailing.
Qian Jiannong, Chairman, Fosun Tourism, said: “The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business, building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.
“After the acquisition of certain Thomas Cook related brands, the overseas acquisition related to Thomas Cook will come to an end for the time being. Following the acquisition, the Group will focus on business expansion, using the newly acquired Thomas Cook brands to create synergies with the existing businesses of the Group.”
Fosun, Thomas Cook’s largest shareholder, had agreed to pump £450 million into Thomas Cook as part of a £900 million rescue deal, but the deal fell through when lenders demanded an extra £200 million that could not be secured. Thomas Cook went into liquidation on 23 September.
Hays Travel has since bought all of the former 555 Thomas Cook high street stores in the UK for £6 million.
Meanwhile, TUI has added an extra two million seats ex-UK to destinations including Turkey, Greece, Balearics, Canaries, Egypt, Mexico and Florida following the collapse of Thomas Cook. It will also offer more departures from regional airports including Manchester, Doncaster, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle, and Glasgow.
In addition, Barrhead Travel has unveiled locations for seven new branches, all using former Thomas Cook staff, as part of its plans to expand by up to 100 stores. The new branches will open in Liverpool, Widnes, Wallasey, Burnley, the Isle of Wight, Northwich, and Warrington before the January peak trading period.