Tui reportedly failed in a bid to buy the internet domain name of collapsed rival Thomas Cook.
Europe’s largest travel group is believed to have been interested in the Thomas Cook URL due to long-standing consumer confusion between the failed operator and Thomson, the former main UK brand for Tui.
But joint liquidator AlixPartners, working alongside KPMG, rejected Tui’s approach on the basis that the company did not want to own the Thomas Cook brand outright, according to Sky News.
Tui declined to comment as it emerged that dozens of expressions of interest thought to have been made to buy the Thomas Cook name, with Chinese joint venture partner Fosun Tourism Group a leading contender.
Fosun is also tipped to be interested in its former partner’s stake in their Chinese hotels joint venture.
A deal is expected to be finalised within weeks following yesterday’s sale of Thomas Cook’s Nordic arm to a consortium led by Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen alongside UK-based private equity firm TDR Capital and Altor.
The buy-out will allow the division’s new owners and other financiers to inject as much as 6 billion Swedish krone (£481 milllion) into keep it afloat.
KPMG is handling a separate auction for Thomas Cook Airlines’ UK airport take off and landing slots having sold its 555 travel agency branches to Hays Travel for just £6 million.
Meanwhile, hedge funds that bet Thomas Cook would go bust are reportedly in line to share a bounty of almost $250 million.
Investors which entered into credit default swaps (CDS) – a type of insurance on Thomas Cook’s corporate bonds – will receive 91% of the amount covered, Bloomberg reported.
CDS are used either by holders of corporate bonds to hedge against losses or by those betting against the underlying company, assuming it will default on its debts.