Thomas Cook hones in on Russia and China deals

Thomas Cook hones in on Russia and China deals

Thomas Cook is in advanced talks to acquire businesses in China and Russia as it expands into emerging markets.

Manny Fontenla-Novoa, chief executive, said a deal in Russia was now “very close” that after several months of searching for the right partners. He also said he hoped to agree a purchase in China in the first quarter of 2010.

The Thomas Cook chief would not identify the two targets but said that both deals would involve Thomas Cook taking a majority share with the current owners kept under earn-out agreement lasting two or three years.

He said he was particularly excited by the offering holiday packages to Russians, who were flocking to Turkey and Egypt - two of the group’s top destinations.

Fontenla-Novoa comments came as he revealed Thomas Cook’s full-year trading update.
It said that the UK market had effectively sold out, with bookings down 10 per cent, in line with the cut in capacity.

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