11-Oct-2010 1:12 PM

Thomas Cook and Co-operative Group announce plans to merge

Thomas Cook and Cooperative Group announced they will merge their travel businesses to create the largest travel agency in the UK (BBC News/RTE Business, 08-Sep-2010). The merger will bring together 1,204 stores and create a new joint subsidiary to be 70% owned by Thomas Cook and 30% held by  Cooperative. While both firms will retain their separate branding, Thomas Cook added that the merger may mean "hundreds" of job cuts. Savings are expected to among the GBP35 million p/a, which will be realised through job losses, store closures and the consolidation of store headquarters. After the merger, the company will have a combined 4.3 million customers. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.