November 1, 2019 / 2:52 PM / 21 days ago

Fosun Tourism to buy Thomas Cook, related hotel brands for £11 million

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a closed Thomas Cook travel agents store near Manchester, Britain, October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - China’s Fosun Tourism Group said on Friday it would acquire the Thomas Cook and related hotel brands for £11 million, in a bid to expand its presence in the tourism business.

The assets include trademarks, domain names, software applications and licences of the British travel firm and related hotel brands, Hong Kong-listed Fosun said, adding that it did not plan to buy overseas assets or businesses related to Thomas Cook for the time being.

Fosun Tourism Chairman Qian Jiannong said the acquisition would 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”.

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel firm, collapsed in late September succumbing to heavy debt, built up by a series of ill-fated deals, that hobbled its response to nimble online rivals.

Fosun Tourism, which was the largest shareholder of the former LSE-listed Thomas Cook, had offered to contribute £450 million in August in return for a majority stake in Thomas Cook’s tour operator business and 25% of its airline.

This plan, however, fell through after Thomas Cook failed to secure further funds demanded by its lenders.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Subhranshu Sahu

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