Fosun International Ltd., the holding company controlled by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, will buy a stake in Thomas Cook Group Plc as it orchestrates cooperation between the U.K. tour operator and Club Mediterranee SA. The stock rose the most in 15 months.
Thomas Cook will sell 73.1 million new ordinary shares to Fosun, a 5 percent stake, for 91.8 million pounds ($140 million), the London-based tour operator said in a statement Friday. Fosun plans to increase the holding to about 10 percent over time by buying additional shares on the market.
The partnership with Shanghai-based Fosun will accelerate its product strategy through further development of some hotels and by widening access to the Chinese tourism market in the medium term, Thomas Cook said. Collaboration will also extend to Club Med, the Paris-based resort company that Fosun and investors are acquiring.
If implemented in 2015, the deal will help earnings in the financial year ending in September 2016, the tour operator said.
Thomas Cook jumped as much as 15 percent, the steepest intraday increase since Nov. 28, 2013, and was trading up 14 percent at 137.5 pence as of 8:11 a.m. in London. That propelled the stock to a 7.5 percent gain this year, valuing the company at 2.01 billion pounds.
Fosun is buying the stake through its Portuguese insurance subsidiary Fidelidade-Companhia de Seguros. Credit Suisse acted as financial adviser to Thomas Cook in the transaction.
This article was written by Richard Weiss from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.