Thomas Cook plans to acquire up to 50 hotels and resorts around the Mediterranean in a deal with partner Fosun, the Chinese group which owns Club Med.
Chief executive Peter Fankhauser announced the move as the group unveiled improved third-quarter results last week. Fankhauser said: “Thomas Cook and Fosun have agreed a memorandum of understanding to establish a hotel investment vehicle.”
Cook and Fosun signed a joint‑venture deal in June. Fosun took over Club Med in February and acquired a 5% stake in Thomas Cook in March.
The pair plan to “acquire 30 to 50 hotel and resort properties over three to five years” in destinations including Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, with Fosun providing the initial investment. Thomas Cook will manage the properties under its existing hotel brands.
The investment platform will “support the improvement and development of our differentiated hotel offering”, said Fankhauser.
He told investors: “Demand for our own-brand hotels, which provide high returns, is accelerating, up 38% so far this year. We are trying to recruit out of the hotels we already have under our brands, [where] we know the owners and have a feeling they are willing to sell and we can make a good deal.”
Chief financial officer Michael Healy said: “We’re doing due diligence on certain hotels.”
Referring to Fosun, Fankhauser added: “We agreed key details and we are already recruiting staff [for the joint venture].”
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