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Thomas Cook India allows independent management of acquired DM specialists

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Thomas Cook India, which recently completed the acquisition of Kuoni’s global network of destination management specialists, will allow the management of the acquired companies to operate on their own. Under the acquisition, Thomas Cook India through its wholly owned subsidiaries acquired companies across 17 countries across the geographies of the Americas, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia. The global acquisition is said to transform Thomas Cook India into a globally integrated travel services provider with the ability to leverage synergies across its global travel portfolio. The agreement includes premium brands including, Asian Trails, Desert Adventures Tourism, Gulf Dunes, Private Safaris (East and South), Allied Tpro as well as Australian Tours Management across the countries – USA, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia.

Madhavan Menon, chairman and managing director, Thomas Cook India, said, “From financial point of view, it has come at a very attractive valuation, which is something that we like. The Fairfax philosophy essentially involves the management of the companies that you acquire to operate on their own. We will not change this policy. We allow the local management of these companies to run their businesses as they see fair, and we will support them and help them in making decisions that, we believe, will help the business.”

“There has to be shareholder-subsidiary relationship and that will continue, and we will manage within that. These companies will either have a board with independent directors or an executive board, which we will also participate in. There will be active interactions between us, but it will be limited to providing support,” he added.

The development has increased Thomas Cook India’s footprint to cover 21 countries. The group, prior to this acquisition, had a network spanning four countries – India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Hong Kong. “The acquisition also allows us to diversify and create synergy benefits, from both inbound and outbound businesses. We are here for the long term; these are not companies that we will sell, so it is in our long term interest to build profitability of each of these companies. Thomas Cook India, as an Indian company, has now grown internationally and we recognise that India is becoming more and more prominent on the global stage, more Indian companies are growing overseas, therefore we see this as an opportunity.”