The deals, which are worth a total of CHF79 million (US$80.3m), form part of Kuoni’s recently announced plan to exit from tour operating business. The company has already sold its European tour operator business to DER Touristik.
Prem Watsa, chairman & CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings, which owns Thomas Cook India, commented; “Our acquisition of Kuoni’s tour operating and retailing businesses in India and Hong Kong, as well as the Indian inbound business, reaffirms our belief in the India market potential [and] also our strategic intent to explore viable geographies, including the larger Asia opportunity.”
Following the completion of the deal, Thomas Cook India will take on all of Kuoni’s 1,800 full-time employees in India and Hong Kong, and will continue to run the businesses from their existing locations.
As part of the deal, Thomas Cook India acquires the Kuoni brand licence for one year in India, and five years in Hong Kong. All other brands, including SOTC, Sita and Distant Frontiers, are transferred with the business.
“With the sale of the tour operating activities in India and Hong Kong, we have completed the sale of the outbound business as announced in January,” said Peter Meier, CEO of the Kuoni Group.
“I’m very pleased that we found forward-looking solutions for all the units. The inclusion of the Indian Destination Management Specialists in the deal provided Kuoni Group an opportunity to conclude a timely transaction at attractive terms. “We expect the closing of all transactions in the course of 2015, allowing Kuoni to focus on the further development of its core business,” he added.
In 2014, Kuoni’s India and Hong Kong businesses generated a turnover of CHF284m and pre-tax profits of CHF4.5m.