Chinese Fosun to buy British tour operator Thomas Cook

Discussions are underway between troubled British tour operator Thomas Cook and his main shareholder, Chinese Fosun, who could become the majority in the wake of an increasingly necessary recapitalization.


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Chinese Fosun is about to take control of British tour operator Thomas Cook. REUTERS / Paul Hanna / Photo File

Discussions are underway between troubled British tour operator Thomas Cook and his main shareholder, Chinese Fosun, who could become the majority in the wake of an increasingly necessary recapitalization.

The announcement of the acquisition of Thomas Cook by the Chinese Fosun hardly surprises after several years of great difficulties. The historic tour operator is in fact suffering from a number of unfavorable circumstances: the fierce internet competition, warm temperatures in Europe that dissuade Westerners from going to hot countries in the summer, and the Brexit cleaver, which reappears when the British are thinking of traveling to the European continent.

The consequence of all these contingencies is glaring on the stock markets with an action divided by ten in one year. To curb this galloping slump, the British tour operator created in 1841, began by dismissing 320 people and closing 21 agencies on the English soil alone, then thought of separating from its airline, more prosperous than its tour operators, to to pay off debt and reassure shareholders.

This is finally another solution that seems to be emerging today with a recapitalization made by its largest shareholder, the Chinese Fosun who would become the majority. Already owner of Club Med , the Chinese Fosun would take the sole control of Thomas Cook's tour operator business.

Under the terms of the agreement they are about to conclude, Thomas Cook would receive some 750 million pounds (835 million euros) of cash and, in exchange, Fosun would take " a large majority of control " in its activity tour operator, as well as " a significant minority share " in its airline.

Impossible for Fosun to seize the airline Thomas Cook Airlines because of the prohibition for a non-European to be the majority shareholder of a European airline. The 103 planes of Thomas Cook would therefore be separated from the rest of the activity.

ref: rfi