Thomas Cook snaps up Jet Tours

Travel giant Thomas Cook today said it had agreed to buy French firm Jet Tours in a €70m deal forming France’s third largest tour operator.

Thomas Cook is to buy the Paris-based group from Club Med and combine the firm with its Thomas Cook France business to secure a 10% share of the French market.

The group, which merged with former Airtours operator MyTravel last June, also announced it was snapping up Canadian independent travel wholesaler TriWest Travel Holdings for up to $114m Canadian dollars (€70.4m).

The deals extend Thomas Cook’s recent acquisition spree, which has already seen the firm buy hotel bookings website Hotels4u.com and travel firm Elegant Resorts so far this year.

The group said it would fund today’s announced deals from existing cash resources.

Manny Fontenla-Novoa, Thomas Cook group chief executive, said: “We see great opportunities in Jet Tours, which would be a strong fit with our existing proposition in France and would provide us with a platform for significant future growth in this important market.

“The acquisition of TriWest Travel Holdings will enable us to balance our revenue and profits between our mainstream charter business and independent travel brands, whilst significantly expanding our distribution reach and customer base in the region.”

Jet Tours, which was founded 40 years ago, serves around 270,000 holidaymakers each year through main brands Jet Tours, Club Eldorado and Austral Lagons.

It posted earnings of €3.4m in its last financial year and is expected to see earnings more than double to around €8m in its current year.

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