Specialist tour operating group Travelzest has become the subject of renewed speculation about a buy-out after one of its key shareholders was bought out.

Fund manager Gartmore agreed a deal to be bought by rival Handerson yesterday sparking speculation that it will rekindle interest from Tui Travel.

Reports in the financial press suggested Gartmore, which owns 30% of Travelzest, was “minded to sell”. AIM listed Travelzest is most often associated with its naturist tour operator division Peng Travel, but the jewel in its crown for any potential buyer is the Canadian tour operator itravel2000.

Tui big two rival Thomas Cook has also been linked to Travelzest, which has issued a series of upbeat trading statements since the controversial departure of former chief executive Chris Mottershead to Tui. The latest trading update is due at the end of this month.