26 September, 2017: Thomas Cook, one of the world’s leading holiday companies, today announces that it has entered into a strategic partnership with LMEY Investments, a Swiss-based hotel property development company, to develop and grow Thomas Cook’s own-brand hotel portfolio.
As part of the new partnership, Thomas Cook has acquired from LMEY a 42% stake in Aldiana, a premium club and activity-focused tour operator and hotel management company based in Germany. Aldiana currently operates eight club resorts located in Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Austria, with plans to open another four resorts over the next two years. It attracts a loyal base of primarily family customers who enjoy activity holidays in premium-quality resorts. Following the acquisition, Aldiana will sit alongside Thomas Cook’s six existing proprietary hotel brands, bolstering Thomas Cook’s own-brand hotel portfolio with a popular club offering and broadening its reach to new customers.
In addition, Thomas Cook and LMEY have entered into an agreement to work together to create a joint hotel investment platform, in order to accelerate the growth of Thomas Cook’s own-brand hotels portfolio. The partners intend to establish the platform by contributing a minimum of five owned and directly-managed hotel properties between them. These seed assets, with a combined value of around £150 million, will be used to develop the platform into a fund focused on acquiring a pipeline of further hotel and resort assets across Thomas Cook’s destination markets. Further details will be provided in due course.
The strategic partnership with LMEY is a significant step forward in Thomas Cook’s strategy to expand its portfolio of own-brand hotels and resorts. It will provide customers with an even greater choice of high-quality holidays that are unique to Thomas Cook and achieve both higher levels of customer satisfaction and better margins than the portfolio average.
Thomas Cook Chief Executive, Peter Fankhauser, said: “The development of a strong portfolio of own-brand hotels is absolutely key to our success, allowing us to provide customers with a consistent and high quality holiday, whatever their needs. Our new strategic partnership with LMEY, with its proven track record of identifying and redeveloping highly successful properties in sun and beach locations, gives us the perfect launch pad to accelerate this critical part of our strategy. The acquisition of a stake in Aldiana expands our reach with a premium club-based activity holiday brand that both complements and enhances our existing own-brand portfolio, enriching our holiday offering for customers and giving us an established pipeline of new properties for the future. This is yet another example of the way that we are transforming our business through partnerships.”
LMEY Founder, Hans Kortlevers, said: “I believe that the combination of the entrepreneurial approach that LMEY has to buying, developing and upgrading hotels and Thomas Cook’s unrivalled expertise and professionalism in European tourism, has the potential to build a really exciting pipeline of new properties in sun and beach destinations. We are looking forward to working with Thomas Cook in this alliance and helping to fast-forward the development of its own-brand hotels and resorts business.”
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About Thomas Cook Group plc.
Thomas Cook Group plc. is one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups with sales of £7.8 billion. Thomas Cook is supported by 22,000 employees and operates from 16 source markets, serving over 19 million customers annually. Thomas Cook Group plc’s shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange (TCG).
LMEY Investments is an investment company established in 2012 with a focus on hotel and leisure properties. At present, LMEY is active with 20 hotels and/or resorts in eleven countries, with a total of more than 3,200 hotel rooms, rising to more than 5,000 hotel rooms after completion of current expansion plans. LMEY employs a workforce totalling around 4,000 employees at its hotels.
Aldiana is a German tour operator and hotel operating company currently managing eight club hotels in Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Austria. Alongside its all-inclusive offering and high service levels, Aldiana offers a wide range of activities and entertainment, allowing guests to personalise their holiday experience. On offer are numerous sports, Wellness programmes, activities for kids and teens, special offers for single travellers, and much more. The company was founded in 1973 with its first Club in Senegal. The name Aldiana comes from the Senegalese language and means “the place where the happy ones live”. Aldiana was formerly part of Thomas Cook; a 75% stake was sold in 2005 and the remaining 25% stake was sold in 2012. Aldiana was 100% acquired by LMEY in February 2016.