Chinese owner of Thomas Cook mulls sale of historic firm

Thomas Cook, the now online travel agency which has historic links to Leicester, could be about to put up for sale by its owner.

Chinese leisure giant Fosun, which also owns Wolverhampton Wanderers, is reported to be ready to be offload the brand – just three years after it rescued it from liquidation.

Sky News says that Fosun Tourism Group is in initial talks with a number of suitors over selling Thomas Cook outright, or bringing in minority share investment from an outside source.

Thomas Cook collapsed in September 2019, putting 22,000 jobs at risk. The firm was set 178-years-old at the time. It was set up by Thomas Cook, a cabinet-maker, in 1841 to transport temperance supporters by railway between Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham.

Foscun snapped up the Thomas Cook name and intellectual property for just £11m after a large part of the firm’s high street presence was snapped up by indie operator Hays Travel.

A spokesperson for Fosun said: “We have been conducting a structured review of our portfolio companies since last year and how we can best support their future growth.

“Where it makes strategic sense to collaborate with potential partners to achieve Thomas Cook’s commercial ambitions, we will seriously consider doing so.”

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