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Old 12th Feb 2007, 09:24
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Thomas Cook buys MyTravel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, February 12, 2007
By Tom Williams
Thomas Cook has bought MyTravel in a surprise 11th-hour deal which ends months of wrangling between Cook, MyTravel and First Choice and will create the UK’s biggest mainstream tour operator.
The Cook-MyTravel deal was signed in the early hours of this morning as Cook negotiations with First Choice over the sale of First Choice’s Mainstream Holidays division were still ongoing. Cook group chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa is thought to have called First Choice chief executive Peter Long shortly afterwards to inform him of the decision.
Under the terms of the deal Cook AG’s parent company KarstadtQuelle will get 52% of a new UK-based company listed on the London stock exchange. MyTravel shareholders will have 48% of the new company, which would be called Thomas Cook PLC.
KarstadtQuelle CEO and Cook chairman Thomas Middelhoff will chair the new group, while MyTravel chairman Michael Beckett will be deputy chairman. MyTravel chief executive Peter Mchugh will be joint chief executive with Fontenla-Novoa on an interim basis.
The merger will be completed by June of this year and will bring together MyTravel brands such as Airtours, shop chain Going Places and Direct Holidays with Cook brands, Thomas Cook Signature and Neilson.
MyTravel and Thomas Cook expect to save at least £75 million in costs each year once the merger is complete. Early indications are that this will involve job losses.
The move comes nearly three weeks after Thomas Cook denied it was considering a takeover of MyTravel. The group had insisted that it had not indicated at a City lunch that a deal with MyTravel was on the cards (TTG January 26).
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