Fosun, which owns Wolverhampton Wanderers and Club Med, will pay £11 million to use the Thomas Cook name and website, along with hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.
Millions of well-heeled Chinese tourists now visit Europe, and Fosun is hoping to take a greater share of the market.
Chairman Qian Jiannong said: “The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.
“After the acquisition of certain Thomas Cook related brands, the overseas acquisition related to Thomas Cook will come to an end for the time being. Following the acquisition, the Group will focus on business expansion, using the newly acquired Thomas Cook brands to create synergies with the existing businesses of the Group.”
Fosun, Thomas Cook‘s largest shareholder, had agreed to pump £450 million into Thomas Cook as part of a £900 million rescue deal.
The deal is likely to see a digital-only travel agent emerge under the Thomas Cook name and brand, with the new owners hoping the 178-year-old business is still highly regarded by European travellers.
Fosun knows Thomas Cook well and fronted the ultimately doomed attempts to refinance the company’s debts prior to its collapse last month.
The group was scuppered at the last minute when a further £200 million of investment was demanded by Thomas Cook’s lenders, and requests for the British Government to step in with a separate loan, failed.
Thomas Cook went into liquidation on September 23.