Indigo Partners, Lufthansa seen as likely bidders for Thomas Cook airline
02 May 2019
Private equity firm Indigo Partners and German carrier Lufthansa are reported to be among the several bidders who have shown interest in Thomas Cook’s airline business that is on the block after the British travel group has been left with a heavy debt pile.
Thomas Cook has put its profitable airline business up for sale in February and has invited expressions of interest till 7 May, reports citing sources said.
Thomas Cook’s airlines business consists of Germany’s Condor, as well as British, Scandinavian and Spanish operations, according to a Reuter’s report.
A sale, in whole or in part, would enable the world’s oldest tour operator to pay down debt and invest more in its own hotels and improve its online sales in a bid to differentiate its offering from rivals.
A source familiar with the discussions said that Indigo and Germany’s Lufthansa were most interested in the business.
Others interested Thomas Cook’s airline business may include British Airways owner IAG, Ireland’s Ryanair and easyJet that has once engaged in talks with Thomas Cook, says the report.
Another source said that private equity groups KKR and Apollo might also look at taking over the whole of Thomas Cook.
Thomas Cook has an ageing fleet although the airlines business provides it access to valuable European slots linking Britain and Germany to key holiday destinations.