Thomas Cook’s Chinese parent Fosun Tourism Group is looking to sell a stake in the online travel company three years after buying the brand from the liquidators for £11m, according to Sky News.
Sky said industry sources claim Fosun is also considering an outright sale, although company executives told the publication this was ‘unlikely’.
A Thomas Cook spokesperson said: “Fosun Travel Group is not looking to sell Thomas Cook,” but it does seem credible that the vast Chinese conglomerate is at least looking for external investors to fund the travel company’s future growth, if not an outright sale.
There are also unconfirmed reports that Fosun is considering selling Club Med, which it bought for about £700m in 2015. Sky reported that the Shanghai-based group has engaged bankers at Rothschild to seek a buyer.
Speculation of the sell-off of both travel businesses follows a report in Bloomberg in September that Chinese regulators had asked banks to examine their exposure to Fosun, a claim which the company has strongly denied.
However, Fosun – a sprawling company with many diverse businesses – has reportedly told analysts it is looking to sell up to US$11bn of assets over the next year. It has recently reached a deal to sell a $2.1bn stake in a steel business, as well as a HK$4.4bn stake in a Chinese mining company.