Will this save Thomas Cook?

By | Category: Travel news

This morning it was announced that Thomas Cook is in discusions with banks and one of its shareholders about an injection that could amount to about £750 million in cash.

Will you book with Thomas Cook or will their holidays have spare places?

The first thing to say that if you are buying a package holiday from the company or have bought one, your money is safe because the company is ATOL bonded. In the event that the worst happens you will get your money back if not your holiday.

That is the thing that most concerns holidaymakers.

Secondly, the tour operation side of the business looks likely to be sold to a Chinese company called Fosun which is already a big shareholder in Thomas Cook. It already owns aother tour operator ClubMed but it might be better known – at least in the Midlands – as the owner of the footballm club, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Its main shareholder is Guo Guangchang who owns nearly two-thirds of the company and is ranked as a billionaire having been one of the three original founders of the company back in 1992.

On the face of it then, Fosun looks like a good choice as an owner given a progressive growth record and the fact that it has plenty of cash that it can use. It also, incidentally, has stakes in banks and insurance companies so you can expect, I would have thought, to see travel insurance and pre-paid currency cards being offered by other companies within the group.

Will this be the end of the troubles at Thomas Cook?

In my view, no.

Last November and again this May, I pointed out some problems that I saw with the company. And once again so that readers are in no doubt, I should mention that I am a small shareholder.

The management needs an overall change at the top to be able to provide us with holidays that we want and not those it thinks we want. It has been slow in bringing on cheaper holidays at a time when people want them and it still offers no domestic holidays at a time when that market is growing.

Maybe Fosun are aware of that and will change things. If not then Thomas Cook will still fall behind the pack as newer and more adroit holiday companies seek our business.

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