The path to the merger

Thomas Cook and MyTravel have announced plans to merger, but the proposal must first go through European Commission regulators, shareholders and – potentially – the UK Office of Fair Trading.

Here, month by month, is what is likely to happen and when.

March: Thomas Cook/MyTravel produce shareholders’ prospectus. Lufthansa shareholders approve sale of 50% stake in Thomas Cook to KarstadtQuelle and that deal referred to European Commission.

April: EC approves Karstadt takeover of Thomas Cook within five weeks. Merger of Thomas Cook/MyTravel then referred to EC.

May: EC approves merger within five weeks, or refers it to UK Office of Fair Trading, or announces grounds for further investigation, lasting four to six months. If referred to OFT, verdict likely in four weeks unless further investigation warranted (then four to six months).

June: MyTravel shareholders approve merger, assuming approval by regulators. Formal completion of merger and structural review. Both will slip to October-December if EC or UK investigates further. Details of combined structure released – including shop closures. Affected staff notified of potential redundancy.

July: formal consultation begins with staff at risk of redundancy. Likely to last up to three months.

Oct/Nov: formal approval and announcement of review if regulatory delay, triggering staff consultation.