Market plays down sell-off rumours

Market plays down sell-off rumours

German tour operator giant Neckermann, Accor and the P&O Group have all been touted as contenders for acquiring Thomson Travel Group.

However, analysts say there are a number of reasons why companies would be put off bidding.

One analyst said:"The UKtour operator market is fairly stagnant at the moment, so I'm not sure why anyone would want to buy into it.

"A company such as Accor would be stupid if it thinks that it could run Thomson better. In any case, Thomson would have to double its share price for it to make any sense."

Another analyst said:"You can't rule out bid possibilities, however, the fact is that 18 months ago, Thomson was available for sale at £1bn. No-one wanted to buy it then, so they floated it instead."

Merrill Lynch vice-president Bruce Jones said:"There is no way at all that another UK tour operator is going to bid for Thomson. They would run straight into an investigation by the Competition Commission.

"In any case, I don't think there is a company which is keen to get into the holiday market. There have been opportunities to buy First Choice and it is still sitting there."


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