Fosun Tourism Group expressed disappointment at Thomas Cook’s collapse but said Thomas Cook China, a joint venture between it and the failed travel company, would continue to operate.
Chinese group Fosun had been poised to take control of Thomas Cook’s tour operations and retail businesses across Europe, along with a 25% stake in the company’s airline, until the planned rescue deal collapsed over the weekend of September 21-22.
Shares in Fosun Tourism Group fell by more than 7% on the Hong Kong stock exchange in the days following Thomas Cook’s collapse. Fosun had an 18.6% stake in Thomas Cook.
In a statement, the group said its “position remained unchanged throughout the process, but unfortunately other factors changed”.
Fosun said it was disappointed Thomas Cook “had not been able to find a viable solution for its proposed recapitalisation” and expressed “deepest sympathy to all those affected”.
It confirmed it had lost “approximately RMB327 million (£37.6 million)”, adding: “The compulsory liquidation of Thomas Cook has limited financial impact to the Group.
“The Group has never provided any guarantee to Thomas Cook and has not made any investment in relation to the possible recapitalisation of Thomas Cook.”
Fosun also insisted the collapse would not affect Thomas Cook China, set up as a joint venture with Thomas Cook. It said: “Thomas Cook China has a strong financial position and is unaffected.
“We wish to stress that all our business and operations continue as normal.”
One Hong Kong analyst told the South China Morning Post that the Thomas Cook collapse might not be bad for Fosun.
Louise Tse Ming-kwong, managing director of VC Asset management, said: “It could have been a burden if Fosun took control of the company.”
In Germany, a leading tour operator group revealed it could invest in former Thomas Cook airline Condor.
The airline, which carries about seven million passengers a year, continues to operate after securing bridging loans worth €380 million from the German government and regional government of Hesse last week.
Ingo Burmeister, Central Europe chief of German travel group DER Touristik which owns Kuoni in the UK, confirmed the company would consider taking a stake in the airline.
Burmeister told German trade magazine FVW: “I can’t imagine a full takeover of Condor, but I would not exclude a stake.”
He discounted DER Touristik being interested in Thomas Cook’s tour operations in Germany, saying: “It does not make any sense just to win volume.”
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