Turkish tour operator tycoon takes stake in Thomas Cook

The head of a leading Turkish tour operator has swooped to take a shareholding in Thomas Cook Group.

Neset Kockar, founder and owner of the Anex Tourism group of companies, disclosed he had taken a 6.71% stake in the business.

The revelation sent Cook’s share price up by almost 25% by the end of trading yesterday. Shares closed the day 1.09p higher at 5.56p.

Anex operates under the name Anex Tour in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Germany and also with its Orex Travel companies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

The group operates 26 Boeing aircraft with three different airline companies in Russia, Ukraine, and Germany under the Azur Air brand.

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Anex Tour handles about three million holidaymakers a year with operations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean.

The company also has a number of hotels in Turkey – one of Thomas Cook’s top destinations – as well as hotel investments in Cyprus, Egypt, Vietnam and Thailand.

Thomas Cook confirmed three weeks ago that it was in “advanced discussions” that would see its tour operating arm taken over by Fosun and the banks, the Chinese investment firm owner of Club Med through a £750 million recapitalisation.

More:Why Thomas Cook will not be broken up after planned Fosun takeover

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The proposal would see Fosun owning a controlling stake in Thomas Cook’s tour operations and a minority interest in its group airline.

Fosun has been a shareholder in Thomas Cook since 2015 and claims to have a “proven rack record” of turning around “iconic brands” such as Club Med and the football club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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