Following a rough first half of its fiscal year, beleaguered British tourism and hospitality operator Thomas Cook Group is in "advanced talks" with Chinese conglomerate Fosun for a "much-needed" cash infusion of close to USD 1 billion.
According to Bloomberg, the approximately USD 942 million deal will give Fosun, which already owns 18 percent of Thomas Cook, control of the U.K. company’s tour operations and a minority stake in its airline while issuing new shares. The funds would provide sufficient liquidity to keep the company in business through the winter 2019-2020 season as well as the financial flexibility to invest in the business for the future.
Fosun and Thomas Cook already run a joint hotel venture in China, where they're developing Thomas Cook-branded properties in the southern part of the country and near Shanghai. In addition to 18 percent of Thomas Cook, Fosun also owns all-inclusive operator Club Med.
Responding to inquiries from Hotel Management, Nigel Fairbrass, a consultant with communications consultancy Eterna Partners, who works with Thomas Cook, said the deal would focus on the company's tour operations and the airline. "There shouldn't be any impact on the hotels at all," he said.
The BBC noted the rescue deal could indicate a potential retreat from the stock market for Thomas Cook, in a move that would see the world's oldest package-holiday firm become a private company.
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