Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Final green light for Thomas Cook & Co-op merger

The Competition Commission has today given the final green light for the merger between Thomas Cook, The Co-operative group and Midlands Co-Operative.

The deal should be concluded in six weeks and the result will be the UK's biggest high-street retail chain of stores with around 1200 shops. This is likely to be made up of 780 Thomas Cook stores, 360 Co-Op Travel stores and 100 from Midland's Co-Op. The majority stakeholders in the deal will be Thomas Cook which has guaranteed The Co-Op a dividend of £10m per year for four years.

The Competition Commissions statement said -

"In its final report published today, the CC has concluded that the acquisition will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in any markets in the UK, in particular for customers buying package holidays from high street travel agents.Therefore customers are unlikely to suffer from significantly higher prices or reduced choice as a result of the joint venture."