View Full Version : Are Airtours stalking First Choice again?

763 jock
26th Nov 2001, 20:29
Rumours are fairly strong around AIH that another bid is in the air. Presumably the Airtours board are confidant that the challenge to EU's decision last time around is to be successful. :confused:

[ 26 November 2001: Message edited by: 763 jock ]

26th Nov 2001, 20:46
Could be First Choice stalking Airtours!!!!!

:p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p

26th Nov 2001, 21:13
Then it'll be AIHs turn to have a party when they finally get First Choice, just a matter of time...... ;)

26th Nov 2001, 21:48
I think you'll find that the relative strengths of the 2 companies are reversed from 2 years ago and that Airtours are in no position to stage a hostile takeover bid for First Choice -in fact the reverse may be true. :cool:

Alberts Growbag
26th Nov 2001, 22:00
Recent presentation by Peter Long to FC staff stated that the likelyhood of a hostile bid coming from Airtours for FC was practically zero for the reasons mentioned above.

However he did say that if the block was overturned by Brussels then a merger of two of the four big players in the UK market was very possible, in fact if I remember correctly he said 'almost certain'.

That could be Airtours/Thomas Cook/FC/JMC take your pick, but consolidation is on the cards, and Peter Long made it clear that he wants to come out of the recession as a 'Consolidator' not to be 'Consolidated'!

27th Nov 2001, 00:53
I seem to remember that last time AIH tried
to get FC they came over all cocky saying that the EU decision was a'formality' - this
apparently p****d off the bureaucrats in
Brussels and we all know what happened. It
sounds like AIH are getting a little over
confident once again - I thought they had huge loans to pay back in the not too distant
future anyway.

Whilst consolidation may well be in the air -
both AIH and FC have moved on in the last
couple of years and are different companies
in many respects - not too mention being bigger players in their own rights which
really was the nub of the problem last time
around. Am I right in saying that Cosmos are
still up for grabs at the moment - but then
again in the present climate who would want to get further involved in bucket and spade

Hey Ho - off for another night flight......

27th Nov 2001, 12:27
Airtours shed 1600 jobs, 600 in UK, as profits rise by 57%.


:( :(

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: newswatcher ]

27th Nov 2001, 14:18
I suggest you take a look at Airtours results for this year, I reckon they must be the most finacially sound tour operator in the world.

Afterthought: Ruthless? yes, poor? No!

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: sapco2 ]

27th Nov 2001, 14:41
newswatcher, its 200 UK jobs, not 600. where did you get that figure from???? Considering that you posted the damn information, you could have read it properly first!

27th Nov 2001, 14:50
As for Airtours taking over First choice: If it happens - you can bet your bottom dollar there will not be any large sums of money involved!

27th Nov 2001, 15:09
The results show a large fall in pre-tax profits from 211.4m to 81.3mil. Save you all getting the calculators out a fall of 130.1m. Operating profits are less about 94m for exceptional charges. Now this means that the costs of managing the business outside of sharp end flying, beds and reps, is running at a huge deficit. Operating profit less exceptionals 53.1m and profits after tax down around 50m. Now add in to the assessment liabilities such as bonds and bank guarantees and you see why shares have fallen 2% immediately. Like I said earlier, could be First Choice stalking "My Flies Are Undone" and yes not much money would change hands. Just equity for debt exchange!!

27th Nov 2001, 15:43
Even more important - the "profit" figures included the disposal of some company assets. The info on Teletext news stated job losses in UK to be 350 and that Airtours themselves suggested that the future was
<< uncertain >>. They certainly are not one of the healthiest tour groups in the world - far from it !!

27th Nov 2001, 15:47
Could somebody please take-over JMC and put us out of our misery :confused: :confused:

27th Nov 2001, 16:38
Hi WAIF-er, keep your hair on, it was not my intention to mislead, I report what I see/read, I don't make things up!!. The news was from a radio news item at about 07:30hrs this morning(27/11), I understand their source is PA News. No specific UK numbers on Airtours own press release, which mentions that the 1600 are on top of the 1200 carried out over the last year. BBC and Bloomberg now say that 200 lost in the UK, but not clear if this includes the Going Places re-org, which was originally going to affect 550 jobs. Some other news sites still suggesting that 200 jobs "to go".

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: newswatcher ]

27th Nov 2001, 17:34
I don't know where your figures come from but Airtours made a record profit of 147.4 M
An increase of 57% over last year!

You may not like it but Airtours are EXTREMELY HEALTHY - probably due to their ruthless behaviour - they are sitting on cash resources of 378.6 m. I reckon they may well be the only tour company to expand next year. Lets wait and see shall we!

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: sapco2 ]

27th Nov 2001, 18:47
Figures available from www.uk-wire.com (http://www.uk-wire.com)

Also reported today that Ken Smith, MD of Air2000, to leave company in spring 2002

Be no job for him when the merger goes ahead!!!

27th Nov 2001, 19:18
Merger is putting it politely, takeover would be more apt!

Mr Angry from Purley
27th Nov 2001, 22:09
Sapco 2, doesn't take long to lose 300 million plus in this day n age. Don't forget its not just about how well Airtours Holidays and Airtours the Airline or My Travel are doing.
Airtours has big spenders with its US operation, its well known that Germany lost them plenty of millions and redundancy doesnt come cheap for those its got rid of already after giving them the heave ho or actual redundancies. The positive side is that no Pilots have gone yet whereas the other Airlines have mostly got rid of a few. It wouldn't take much for AIH to ditch the DC10's for example and cut back.

I'd be cautious about being over optimistic
and bold about the future as its a funny old game your in :mad: :mad: :mad:

27th Nov 2001, 23:20
Methinks Sapco doth protest too much. If AIH
were to try and takeover/merge with FC what
would they gain ?

AIH are already the biggest UK tour operator so they do not need to takeover FC to achieve the title which its founder coveted for so long. Cherry picking assets such as
Sovereign and SunSail could be attractive but
the costs involved would surely be prohibitive. Legal implications would result
in complications in respect of the staff of
any company AIH seeks to acquire.

In uncertain trading conditions it would seem
to be sensible for good companies such as
AIH and FC, which whilst they make mistakes are generally well run, to entrench their
existing positions as indeed they are seeking to do at the moment with some success
according to recent comments from the City.

The essence of AIH's legal appeal was to give
it the opportunity to expand when conditions
allowed. AIH directors said at the time that
their appeal was not an attempt to try once
again for FC - it was said to be a matter of
principle which upheld would allow other
acquisitions in the fullness of time. These
comments have recently been underlined by
AIH. Both AIH and FC have expanded since 1999
albeit in different directions - the clear
reservations which prevented the last takeover attempt are perhaps even more valid
when looking at the current size of the two
companies involved. There are of course other
targets out there at the moment - is their
a smokescreen being deployed at the moment ?

Mind you - having said all that I have - there is a delightful symmetry in the concept
of a holiday company called MY TRAVEL (FIRST)
CHOICE - it does have a certain ring to it !

Lets face it - in the month of November we
all have a bit too much time on our hands -
always good for a bit of good honest rumour

Desk Driver
27th Nov 2001, 23:52

The facts are my Airtours employee friend!

Airtours are using this rumour to put a smoke screen to hide the fact that they might be merged or even brought by someone else!

Airtours are from a Stock Market point of view in no position to launch they're THIRD atempt to buy FC. Don't forget brokers lost money on this deal, they don't get bitten twice.

Yes the results are good but they were only up to the end of September. That means that they do not reflect the current situation at all.

In the meantime FC will probably merge with Kuoni like they always wanted too (Believe me Kuoni would'nt mind at the present moment!)

Good luck to all in Rochdale though! Worrying times ahead.