Thomas Cook to buy German operator

Thomas Cook is taking over a leading German operator specialising in holidays to Turkey in a €30 million deal.

Öger Tours carries more than 400,000 holidaymakers a year and reported an operating profit of €3.3 million in the year to October 2009.

Cook had been in talks with Oger for some time, but a deal appeared to have stalled over the sale price.

The takeover is expected to generate “significant synergies” worth more than €8 million a year through operational savings, more in-house flying with Cook’s German carrier Condor, better utilisation of aircraft and the combined purchasing of flights, hotels and in-resort services.

The company expects to realise the full benefit of these synergies in the second full year of ownership.

Other businesses owned by founding shareholder Vural Öger have agreed to provide Thomas Cook with agency and accommodation services in Turkey worth €2.5 million at no cost.

The Öger Tours brand will be retained together with its Hamburg offices, but directors Vural Öger and his daughter Nina Öger will both step down.

Thomas Cook Group chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa said: “We have been exploring opportunities to reinforce Thomas Cook’s strong position in Germany, one of the group’s largest and most important operating segments, and this acquisition represents an important step in our strategy to achieve this.

“The transaction also further strengthens our presence in Turkey, a key destination for all of our European markets.  Overall, I believe we have secured a strategically important and financially attractive transaction that will deliver substantial benefits to the group.”

The acquisition requires antitrust clearance from the European Commission and is expected to be completed by September.

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