On September 23, one of the world’s largest travel operators, the Thomas Cook group, ceased operations. While thousands of passengers were stranded and thousands of staff lost their jobs, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia (DK/VKG) quickly emerged from the large group’s rubble after a couple of days of flight cancellations. The Scandinavian branch of the Thomas Cook Group was formerly operated independantly from its British counterpart under the Ving Group.
Nearly six weeks later, the former Scandinavian subsidiary has found a new owner. Billionaire Petter Stordalen, a Norwegian investor and hotel owner, as well as the two investors Altor and TDR Capital, will jointly take over the Scandinavian travel group. With the new owner, all 2,300 employees will retain their jobs. Stordalen stated he was happy to take over the “crown jewels among Scandinavian travel providers”. Altor and Stordalen’s company, Strawberry Group, will each take 40% of the company, with the remaining 20% going to TDR Capital.
As a result of the takeover, the airline will rename as the current name has become badly damaged due to the insolvency of the former parent company. The carrier will become Sunclass Airlines.
However, it also appears as if the name Thomas Cook will survive. For 11 million pounds sterling, Chinese company Fosun Tourism has purchased the rights to all the group’s brand names, as well as hotel chains Casa Cook and Cook’s Club. “The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand allows the group to expand its tourism businesses,” stated Qian Jiannong, head of Fosun Tourism. The company relies on the reputation of Thomas Cook and the strong growth of Chinese foreign tourism.