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Travel firms announce merger

Thomas Cook and MyTravel to join forces


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Tour operators MyTravel and Thomas Cook have announced plans to merge.

The proposed combination between Airtours owner MyTravel and German-owned Thomas Cook will create a new company called Thomas Cook Group, with its headquarters in the UK.

The tie-up is planned for completion by June.

The proposals, which have been backed by the boards of both companies, are expected to result in cost savings of £75 million a year across the businesses.

Thomas Cook owner KarstadtQuelle will hold 52 per cent of the new company, with the remaining 48 per cent owned by the shareholders of MyTravel.

Competitive market

The firms said the enlarged operation would have leading positions in the UK and Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, France, Germany and the Benelux countries, offering a strong platform for growth.

MyTravel, which has a stock market value of £1.1 billion, employs more than 14,000 people worldwide. Last year the group took as many as six million people on holiday.

Thomas Cook is Europe’s second largest travel group with 2,400 travel agencies, a fleet of 66 aircraft and a 20,000-strong full-time workforce.

MyTravel chairman Michael Beckett said: ‘Thomas Cook is a household name and the joining of the two groups will create an even stronger force in this highly competitive market.’

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