Listed travel company Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said on Tuesday that it has entered into a pact with Thomas Cook UK's appointed special manager to acquire the rights of the iconic brand for India, Sri Lanka and Mauritius markets.
The company said in a stock market disclosure that it has signed an agreement with special manager AlixPartners for the complete ownership of the brand name across these markets, for a one-time payment of Rs 13.9 crore ($1.9 million at current exchange rate).
“The brand is one of the most respected names in the travel services space and one that we at Thomas Cook India have operated uninterrupted for 138 years since 1881," said Madhavan Menon, managing director at Thomas Cook (India).
The firm, which is majority-owned by India-born Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, was previously contracted to pay an annual brand licence fee of Rs 2 crore to Thomas Cook UK until 2024 for usage of the brand.
The brand licence agreement also gave Thomas Cook (India) the right of first refusal to acquire the brand in the event of Thomas Cook UK Group going into liquidation before 2024.
The latest agreement, as per a press statement, ensures brand use rights in perpetuity and means that Thomas Cook (India) can use the brand in perpetuity on a royalty-free basis.
Recently, Thomas Cook (India) was considering whether to continue under the Thomas Cook brand after the collapse of Thomas Cook UK.
The travel company has a presence in 29 countries across five continents and operates a slew of brands including Thomas Cook, SOTC, TCI, SITA, Asian Trails, Allied T Pro, Australian Tours Management, and Desert Adventures.
It employs over 9,700 people and had consolidated revenue of Rs 6,718 crore for the financial year ended March 2019.
Fairfax had acquired Thomas Cook (India) in 2012, its first buyout since setting up its India office the year before.
Fairfax then turned Thomas Cook (India) into an investment platform for acquisitions, its top India executive Harsha Raghavan had told VCCircle in an interview in early 2013. Fairfax then had more than $30 billion in assets.