Thomas Cook Germany to close as administrators fail to find buyer

Thomas Cook Germany is set to shut down on December 1 with administrators having failed to find a buyer.

However, administrators are in advanced talks to sell two or more of Thomas Cook Germany’s tour operator brands and hope to save about half the 2,100 jobs in Germany.

Negotiations for tour operator subsidiaries Oger Tours and Bucher Reisen are reportedly “well advanced”. The company’s administrator said in a statement: “We expect to find a solution.”

Administrators are also “very optimistic” that hotel franchise groups Sentido and Smartline will be sold and still hope to find buyers for the Neckermann and Air Marin tour operator brands.

Administrator Julia Kappek-Gnirs said: “We expect to keep the majority of the offices in the business [open].”

The news in Germany is equally mixed for former customers of Thomas Cook awaiting refunds on bookings.

The German consumer financial protection system is based on insurance and Cook insurer Zurich Insurance Group is expected to begin refund payments next month.

However, claims to the value of €250 million have already been submitted when Thomas Cook’s insurance cover extends to just €110 million.

Claims worth up to €500 million have been forecast.

Thomas Cook Germany entered administration after the UK-based group went into liquidation on September 23, but there were high hopes the German business would resume trading next month.

Insolvency administrator Fabio Algari said: “We started with the aim of finding an investor for the entire German group. But time is now against us. There is no offer for the tour operator business of Thomas Cook Touristik.”

Thomas Cook managing director Stefanie Berk said: “Thomas Cook Germany is profitable and has been dragged down by the insolvency of its British parent company.”

Neckermann was the company which merged with German airline Condor to form Condor & Neckermann (C&N) and then acquired Thomas Cook in 2000.

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