The 178-year-old British tour operator Thomas Cook Group Plc has collapsed under a pile of debt after talks with creditors failed, stranding hundreds of thousands of travellers, but the move will not have any impact on its India operations.
The company said in a statement that its board concluded that it had no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect.
However, Thomas Cook India Ltd (TCIL) said in a statement that it is a completely different entity since August 2012 when it was acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Canada-based multinational with varied interests across the globe.
“Post the transfer of its entire stake in TCIL to Fairfax, Thomas Cook UK ceased to be the promoter of Thomas Cook India Ltd from the said date. Since then, Thomas Cook UK has had no stake in TCIL,” said its Chairman and Managing Director Madhavan Menon.
“The last seven years have been fruitful as we continue to grow and build our legacy as an independent entity after Fairfax Financial Holdings acquired a 77 per cent stake in TCIL,” he said in a statement.
TCIL offers a broad spectrum of services that include foreign exchange, corporate travel, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions), leisure travel, insurance, visa and passport services and e-Business.
But the collapse of Thomas Cook Group Plc forced the British government to hire charter planes to bring thousands of customers of the company back home.
The company filed for administration early Monday after eleventh-hour negotiations to raise additional funding failed to result in a deal. The move saw all bookings, flights and holidays with Thomas Cook cancelled.
In what it called the ‘largest repatriation in peacetime history,’ the government said it will work to return all those booked to come back to Britain over the next two weeks free of cost.
Thomas Cook’s Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser apologised to customers, employees, suppliers and partners. The collapse spells the demise of what is one of Britain’s best-known brands and caps months of talks with its investors led by Fosun Tourism Group.
Thomas Cook scrambled over the weekend to avoid collapse after the Royal Bank of Scotland and other banks demanded that Thomas Cook Group Plc find 200 million pounds in funding by this upcoming week.
The troubled group blamed a series of issues for its problems including political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey, last summer’s prolonged heatwave and customers delaying booking holidays because of Brexit.