Thomas Cook acquires Kuoni’s travel business in India

Mumbai, Aug 7 (IANS) Tourism firm Thomas Cook India on Friday announced it will acquire the Kuoni Group’s travel business in India and Hong Kong for Rs.535 crore.

“The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals as required,” Thomas Cook said in a statement here.

“As part of the acquisition, Thomas Cook (India) will take on all of the approximately 1,800 employees of Kuoni’s business unit in India and Hong Kong tour operating, and will continue to run the business activities as an independent company,” it added.

The board of the company in its meeting on Friday approved purchase of Kuoni’s travel business in “one or more tranches, financing the deal through a mix of funds from earlier equity infusion, internal accruals, debt funds (for Hong Kong) and or other permissible modes.”

Prem Watsa, chairman of Fairfax Holdings, the controlling share holder of Thomas Cook India said: “Acquisition of Kuoni’s tour operating and retailing businesses in India and Hong Kong as well as the Indian inbound business reaffirms our belief in the India market potential, as also our strategic intent to explore viable geographies, including the larger Asia opportunity.”

Kuoni Group chief executive Peter Meier said: “With the sale of the tour operating activities in India and Hong Kong, we have completed the sale of the outbound business, as announced. I’m very pleased that we found forward-looking solutions for the units in India and Hong Kong.”

Thomas Cook India has its footprint over 232 locations in 95 cities across India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, the company said.

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