Fosun Tourism Group, a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, confirmed today that it is negotiating a GBP750 million (USD941 million) deal to buy Britain’s largest travel agency Thomas Cook & Son.
Fosun is considering taking a majority stake in Thomas Cook, which would in turn give it a minority share of the target’s airlines, the Shanghai-based company said in a statement. Earlier media reports suggested private equity firms KKR & Co. and EQT Partners were looking to buy the shares as Thomas Cook looks to re-jig ownership of its travel agency and airline business.
Shares in Fosun Tourism [HKG:1992] climbed on the news, up 3.12 percent to HKD12.56 (USD1.61) as of 2.35 p.m.
The pair, which set up a China joint venture majority owned by Thomas Cook in 2015, have not signed any legally binding documents, Fosun added, saying its final decision will be boil down to shareholders, the target’s performance and regulatory approval.
Fosun’s parent also holds a 12 percent stake in Thomas Cook.