The Thomas Cook Group has today announced its acquisition of tour operator Elegant Resorts for an undisclosed sum.


The group bought the luxury specialist, which was set up in 1988, from its founding shareholders Geoff Moss and Barbara Catchpole while the deal was funded by its on cash reserves.


While the cost of the deal remains a secret, the operator, which offers tailor-made holidays to luxury resorts and hotels, carried more than 20,000 passengers in 2007, leaving the company with a value of around £22.3 million.


Thomas Cook Group chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa said the purchase supports the group’s continued strategy of strengthening its position in the independent travel sector. Elegant Resorts will continue to be run as a stand-alone business with its current management team remaining in place.


He added: ““We are delighted to have secured this acquisition, which allows Thomas Cook to further enhance its position in this lucrative and growing segment of the leisure travel market.


“Elegant Resorts has a very strong brand name, associated with luxury, style and bespoke holidays and fully supports our strategic aim to become a leading independent travel provider.”