Thomas Cook AG
|Industry||Transport (Package Holiday Group)|
|Fate||Merged with MyTravel Group|
|Successor(s)||Thomas Cook Group plc|
|Founded||2002 (as Thomas Cook)
1997 (C&N Touristic AG)
1841 (Thomas Cook & Son)
|Defunct||12 February 2007|
|Headquarters||Rochdale, England, UK|
|Products||Package holidays, flights|
|Employees||14,600 Full Time|
Thomas Cook AG was the parent company of Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, Condor Airlines and other such subsidiaries until 12 February 2007 when it merged with MyTravel Group PLC. The new combined company was named Thomas Cook Group plc and was listed on the London Stock Exchange.
It was originally incorporated on 1 November 1997 as "C&N Touristic AG" but the name was changed following the 2002 acquisition of Thomas Cook. The Group was jointly owned by Lufthansa and Karstadt, until the latter bought out Lufthansa's share on 23 December 2006. Karstadt paid €800m (£540m), though a condition of the agreement was that Lufthansa would retain a stake in Condor for at least two years.
Thomas Cook Worldwide had five wholly owned subsidiaries Thomas Cook UK, Thomas Cook Netherlands, Thomas Cook France, Thomas Cook Belgium, and Thomas Cook Destinations, along with majority holdings in Condor and TC Touristik. Thomas Cook used to have a franchise agreement in the Middle East - Specifically in the United Arab Emirates through a licensee agreement it had with a local group called the Al Rostamani Group. The venture was terminated after the Thomas Cook brand name was sold to Dubai Holdings which planned to use it in the Middle East.
In the United Kingdom, Thomas Cook conformed to the model of a 'vertically integrated travel company' operating an airline, a retail arm and also a tour operator. This tour operator division was previously known as Thomas Cook Tour Operations but in early 2006 was restructured as the 'Holidays Division', incorporating the previously separate Thomas Cook Signature brand alongside the Thomas Cook, JMC and Sunset brands. The 'Specialist Products' division included Uptrips (including the Club 18-30 brand), Style, Neilson Active Holidays and Sunworld Ireland.
In 1999, Thomas Cook AG sold off its worldwide foreign exchange business to Travelex to concentrate only on tours and holidays. After the market depression, particularly following the September 11, 2001, attacks, Thomas Cook AG began a disinvestment programme by disposing off some of its subsidiaries and business ventures to follow a highly flexible business model and become an asset light company with minimum capital tie up. The business focused on Europe for the sale of package holidays and tailor-made holidays for customers specific requirements.
On December 21, 2005, Thomas Cook AG, sold off Thomas Cook International Markets, a venture which includes 60% of the stake in Thomas Cook India Ltd to Dubai Financial LLC, a part of the Dubai Investment Group (DIG) which manages the financial and real estate interests of HH Sheikh_Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai. Thomas Cook India, a profitable venture, which offered a broad band of services like package tours, currency exchange and travel insurance besides hotel and flight reservations. Thomas Cook India had been in existence for 124 years and operated 60 offices across various locations. Thomas Cook India had branches in Sri Lanka and Mauritius and reported sales of €23.3 million. After the take over by Dubai Financial LLC, Thomas Cook India took over LKP forex, one of India's leading foreign exchange houses and The Travel Corporation of India (TCI) India's leading travel and tourism corporation. The sale of Thomas Cook International Markets led to the closure of a franchisee run business in travel and foreign exchange in the UAE which operated under the name Thomas Cook Al Rostamani LLC.
Following this, Thomas Cook Overseas Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook UK was sold off, this time again to Dubai Financial LLC. (Thomas Cook Overseas Ltd consisted of 19 travel agencies, 22 currency exchanges in Egypt with 371 employees and during the 2005 business year had a turnover of just under €6 million).
Thomas Cook AG soon entered the market again, this time to sell off two more of its subsidiaries - Thomas Cook Thailand and Thomas Cook Middle East both to Dubai Financial LLC. Thomas Cook Middle East consists of the Middle East region, which experienced a boom in travel and tourism, especially in places like Dubai, Qatar, Oman and so on. Thomas Cook Lebanon S.A.L. had started in June 2004 providing travel and financial services. The company also operates a travel agency and a currency exchange in Beirut. Dubai Financials had planned an aggressive expansion strategy for its newly acquired arms. The total deal fetched Thomas Cook approximately 115 million US dollars.
Thomas Cook Canada was sold to Transat A.T. in 2006, marking Thomas Cook's exit from the North American market in terms of its own retailer.
On 12 February 2007, Thomas Cook AG announced that they had agreed terms on a merger with MyTravel Group PLC. The merger was subject to shareholders of MyTravel giving their approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting. The parent company of the enlarged group was named Thomas Cook Group plc with its headquarters in the UK and listed in London.
The companies in Thomas Cook AG included:
- Thomas Cook Holidays Division, includes Airtours, Sunset, Manos, Panorama, Escapades, Thomas Cook Signature, Club 18-30, Neilson Active Holidays, Style and Sunworld Ireland.
- Thomas Cook Retail
- Thomas Cook Airlines
- Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium
- Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia
- Condor Flugdienst
- Thomas Cook TV (went off air, 30 April 2010)
Clearance by the European Competition Commission was granted on 4 May for the merger of Thomas Cook and Mytravel forming the new Thomas Cook Group PLC (TCG)
- "Merger of MyTravel Group PLC and Thomas Cook AG to Create a Leading International Leisure Travel Company" (Press release). MyTravel Group plc. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2007.