Joint-stock financial corporation "Sistema" withdrew from the joint venture with the British travel company Thomas Cook
Russian Intourist withdrew membership the joint venture with Thomas Cook. The British tour operator now becomes the owner of 100% of the company. The source in publishing house RBC connected the event with the plans of Intourist tour operator to create its own air carrier.
The Foreign Economic Joint Stock Company Intourist (the part of Sistema) withdrew from ITC Travel Investments - a joint venture (JV) with the British tour operator Thomas Cook (which owns the carrier Thomas Cook Airlines). This was reported to RBC by a representative of Sistema.
“Intourist has withdrawn from the capital of ITC Travel Investments, a joint venture with Thomas Cook,” he said. The representative of RBC refused to name the amount of the transaction and describe any details.
The information about the withdrawal of Intourist from the joint venture was also confirmed in the press service of the tour operator. Now 100% of ITC Travel Investments belong to a British company - the source in RBC specified. “The deal is a confirmation of the confidence of Thomas Cook Group in the development potential of the Russian tourist market and testifies satisfaction with the results of the subsidiary in Russia,” he added. According to a company representative, this event is “the next step in strengthening of the position of one of the world tourism leader” on the Russian market.
The consolidation of Thomas Cook may be connected with the plans of Intourist to create its own airline in Russia. The fact that tour operator Intourist is considering the creation of its own air carrier became known in 2017. “The process will be gradual - the company’s general director Viktor Topkolraev said earlier - firstly, the company would buy its own airplane under the fleet of one of the existing airlines, and only then would think about creating its “own carrier”. In February, it was reported that the company plans to purchase at least six aircraft of two types, including wide-body aircraft.
The joint venture of Intourist and Thomas Cook was established in 2011. Intourist transferred its tour operator and retail business to the joint venture. Thus, it includes the tour operator National Travel Company (NTK) Intourist and the network of travel agencies Intourist Travel Shop.
Initially, the parties owned 49.9 and 50.1% of the corporation, respectively. But Thomas Cook, when creating the joint venture, had an option to purchase in 2014 about a quarter of the project. Thomas Cook increased its share in the company a year earlier, in 2013, from 50.1% to 75% due to unfavorable financial indicators. As a result, the share of Intourist in the joint venture decreased from 49.9 to 25%. After that, in 2014 the operating loss of ITC Travel Investments was reduced three times and amounted only £ 3 million.