Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Thomas Cook Aborts Bid to Create Rival Budget Airline

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Thomas Cook Aborts Bid to Create Rival Budget Airline

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT LEA

A DEAL to create a major German rival to easyJet and Ryanair in Europewas in tatters todaybringing further bad news for Thomas Cook, which was set to have been asubstantial share-holder in the airline.

Thomas Cook said today that, nine months after it revealed the tie-up of itslow-cost carrier Condor with Air Berlin, Germanys biggest budget airline, thedeal is now off.

The travel agency had been due to become a holder of up to 29% of the shares ofthe enlarged Air Berlin. How-ever, with signs the German Federal Cartel Officewould raise objections on competition grounds, the application to merge theairlines has been withdrawn. Speculation the deal was in trouble sent ThomasCooks shares plummeting almost 10% in late trading yesterday.

That made the travel agent the largest faller in the FTSE 100, extending itsdive over the past three months to 40% as investors fret over the UK packagehol-iday industry, hit by sterling weakness. …

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