Thomas Cook brand name bought for £11m
Fosun has snapped up the name and website to sell package holidays to Chinese tourists.
The Thomas Cook brand name will live on after the Chinese conglomerate Fosun snapped up the rights from liquidators of the bust travel firm.
Fosun will pay £11 million to use the Thomas Cook name and website, along with hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.
Millions of well-heeled Chinese tourists now visit Europe, and Fosun is hoping to take a greater share of the market.
Qian Jiannong, chairman of Fosun tourism group, said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.
“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.”
The deal is likely to see a digital-only travel agent emerge under the Thomas Cook brand, with the new owners hoping the 178-year-old business is still highly regarded by European travellers.
Fosun knows Thomas Cook well and fronted the ultimately doomed attempts to refinance the company’s debts prior to its collapse last month.
The group was scuppered at the last minute when a further £200 million of investment was demanded by Thomas Cook’s lenders, and requests for the British Government to step in with a separate loan, failed.
The Insolvency Service is now in charge of what remains of Thomas Cook and, with specialists at AlixPartners and KPMG, is trying to sell off any remaining assets – although just the landing slots at Gatwick airport remain.
PA news agency also understands that rival travel business Tui attempted to buy the Thomas Cook brand name, with one source saying this was to “kill off” the brand.
Last month, Sunderland-based Hays Travel bought the 555 Thomas Cook high street stores for £6 million, as revealed to MPs who are holding an inquiry into the collapse.