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Wolves owner Fosun 'disappointed' at Thomas Cook collapse

By James Pugh | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

Wolves owner Fosun, which had led a last-ditch bid to rescue Thomas Cook from bankruptcy, said it was "disappointed" that the effort had failed.

Thomas Cook had looked like it was going to be taken over by Wolves owner Fosun

Thomas Cook had announced last month that Chinese conglomerate Fosun, which was already the biggest shareholder, would inject £450 million into the business.

In return, the Hong Kong-listed conglomerate was to acquire a 75-per cent stake in Thomas Cook's tour operating division and 25 per cent of its airline unit.

Creditors and banks were to inject another £450 million, converting their debt into a 75-per cent stake in the airline and 25 per cent of the tour operating unit.

People outside the Peterborough headquarters of Thomas Cook on Monday

But instead last-ditch talks failed on Sunday and Thomas Cook ceased trading in the early hours of Monday morning, leaving thousands of workers facing unemployment and around 150,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad.

"Fosun is disappointed that Thomas Cook Group has not been able to find a viable solution for its proposed recapitalisation with other affiliates, core lending banks, senior noteholders and additional involved parties," Fosun said in a statement.

"Fosun confirms that its position remained unchanged throughout the process, but unfortunately other factors have changed.

"We extend our deepest sympathy to all those affected by this outcome."

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Thomas Cook and Fosun have a joint venture travel agency in China, while Thomas Cook was Wolves' official travel partner

Wolves tickets

Wolves fans who have bought tickets through Thomas Cook have been assured they should still be able to attend the matches.

The club, like several others in the Premier League, had offered hospitality packages to matches at Molineux through Thomas Cook Sport.

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Following the collapse of the travel firm Wolves said it would be contacting those affected.

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The top-of-the-range packages are normally part of a matchday experience, including food and entertainment.

Wolves said it was likely customers would still be offered the packages through the club but that it would not be responsible for any compensation.

Tickets bought for Molineux via Thomas Cook Sport should still be honoured

Fosun, which also owns the Club Med resort chain and Canadian circus company Cirque du Soleil and has a kids' club joint venture with toy company Mattel, first bought into Thomas Cook in 2015 - a year before buying Wolves for £30 million.

Fosun was co-founded by billionaire Guo Guangchang and is one of China’s biggest conglomerates. It has spent billions of dollars over the past decade on healthcare, tourism and fashion companies in the United States and Europe.

Fosun said earlier this year it would adopt an asset-light strategy and run Club Med resorts it plans to launch in China and other countries under management contracts.

While Beijing has forced a number of other acquisitive private Chinese conglomerates including HNA Group and Anbang Insurance to turn from buying foreign companies to selling off assets, Fosun has remained an active purchaser in sectors ranging from finance to pharmaceuticals.

It recently bought into Tickled Media, a Singaporean online parenting information platform.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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