Kuoni Group’s tour operating businesses have been sold to the owner of German operator DER Touristik for an undisclosed sum.
The takeover includes Kuoni UK together with tour operations in Switzerland, Scandinavia and the Benelux region.
The tour operating activities will continue to trade under their existing brands.
Rewe Group, which owns DER, is acquiring the right to use the Kuoni brand in Switzerland and the UK, while Kuoni Group remains the owner of the Kuoni brand.
The businesses, which employ 2,350 staff, will be run as part of the DER Touristik travel division.
The tour operating activities that have been acquired generated turnover of around CHF 2 billion last year.
The acquisition positions DER Touristik as a leading pan-European travel company.
The deal gives DER Touristik new competitive advantages in the beach holiday business as well as in international purchasing of flight, hotel and other customer services, a statement said.
The two parties said they have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or contract details.
The acquisition is subject to the approval by the relevant competition authorities in the EU and Switzerland. The takeover is expected to be completed in the third quarter of the year.
The sale of the European tour operating activities is likely to impact Kuoni Group’s half-year results of discontinued operations with a loss of around CHF180 million.
Kuoni hopes to complete its search for a buyer for the remaining tour operating activities in India, Hong Kong and China this year.
Kuoni Group chief executive, Peter Meier, said: “The successful sale of our European tour operating activities marks a significant milestone in the development of the Kuoni Group.
“European tour operating has been closely associated with the Kuoni name for more than 100 years.
“Our tour operating businesses and all their brands are now being taken over by the REWE Group and its experienced DER Touristik travel division, which will integrate them into its growth strategy.
“I am pleased that with this sale we have found an ideal, forward-looking, long-term solution for our customers and employees.”
Kuoni chairman, Heinz Karrer, said: “With the sale of the entire European tour operating business we can complete the new strategic direction of the Kuoni Group more quickly than planned.”
On Twitter Kuoni UK managing director Derek Jones described the deal as “the start of a new era” with the business in good shape and in good hands.
Kuoni Group announced in January that it would be concentrating on its core business as a service provider to the global travel industry and governments under three divisions – Global Travel Distribution (GTD), Global Travel Services (GTS) and VFS Global.
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