Thomas Cook brand bought by Chinese company Fosun Tourism

The world’s oldest travel agency is making a comeback.

The Thomas Cook company will return to business later this month after its brand name was purchased by another agency, Chinese-based Fosun Tourism, also the owner of Club Med.

The British agency collapsed in September leaving 2,500 jobs lost and triggering the rescue of 150,000 travelers from the United Kingdom – the largest repatriation of British citizens since World War II.

Fosun, which holds a major stake in Thomas Cook and had previously failed to negotiate a refinancing deal with creditors, had its bid approved this time when it guaranteed to buy the agency for £11million or roughly $14.2 million in US dollars.

Thomas Cook collapsed after an ambitious expansion plan to compete with online travel agencies. The company had 555 brick-and-mortar stores in the U.K.

Another large British agency, Hays Travel, swooped in and bought the stores, hiring more than 400 ex-Thomas Cook employees, to take advantage of the situation to expand itself.

Ironically, it is being reported that the relaunched Thomas Cook will be an online-only agency.

Fosun’s buyout includes the takeover of the brand name, along with hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.

Source: TravelPulse