Shares in Thomas Cook enjoyed a minor rally yesterday amid City speculation that the travel group could be a takeover target.
The company’s share price rose by more than 2p to almost 117p after reports that Fosun International, the Chinese conglomerate that took a 5% stake in March for £92 million, could buy the rest.
Cook’s shares had been languishing just above the 100p mark for much of the summer, down from highs of around 185p following its successful tunaround under previous chief executive Harriet Green.
Cook forged a Chinese joint venture with Club Med-owner Fosun in June and followed that with plans for a global deal which includes marketing the French all-inclusive operator’s holidays through 150 stores in the UK.
Fosun and Cook last month signed a join venture to acquire up to 50 hotels and resorts around the Mediterranean.
The bid rumours emerged late on Monday in a Daily Mail market report which also claimed that rival Tui Group or Fosun could bid directly or via Cook to launch a play for Kuoni.
This came after Kuoni confirmed the sale of its UK arm and tour operations in Switzerland, Scandinavia and the Benelux region to German group DER Touristik.
Swiss-based Kuoni has refocused on selling services to the global travel industry.
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