Thomas Cook Group PLC (LON:TCG) shares leapt higher on Tuesday after reports suggested the holidays firm is considering a sale of its business as it struggles against tough competition and Brexit uncertainty.
Chinese group Fosun International, which is Thomas Cook’s largest shareholder with a 17% stake, is said to be among those interested in buying parts or the whole of the business, according to Sky News.
Private equity firms KKR and EQT are also understood to be interested in bidding. In afternoon trading, Thomas Cook shares were 18.3% higher at 28.98p
The news comes after a tough year for Thomas Cook, during which it issued two profits warning and saw its market value fall 80%.
Last year, the company swung to a pre-tax loss of £163mln from a £9mln profit a year ago as demand weakened to increased competition and last year’s UK heatwave.
In February, the group said it had launched a strategic review of the airline business, suggesting this could lead to a possible disposal.
At the time, German airline Lufthansa expressed an interest in buying the long-haul operations of Thomas Cook’s Germany airline division.
Adding to its woes, Thomas Cook warned in April that it might have been in breach of its own borrowing limits.
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