Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia is to be rebranded as Sunclass Airlines after the collapsed tour operator Thomas Cook Group’s Northern Europe division was acquired by a trio of investors.
The investors include Strawberry Group, the fund controlled by businessman Petter Stordalen, as well as Altor Funds and TDR Capital.
Strawberry Group and Altor will each hold 40% with TDR taking the remaining 20%.
This investment consortium will provide a “strong and long-term” Nordic majority ownership of the leisure company and its 2,300 personnel, says Strawberry Group.
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia has continued operating despite the liquidation of its parent company in September.
The collapsed leisure firm’s Northern Europe operation is also known as Ving Group, and includes tour operator activities in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland – among them firms such as Spies and Tjareborg.
Ving Group says its core business is chartered holiday travel with Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia accounting for 85% of its volume.
Group chief executive Magnus Wikner says the investors’ “long experience” in the industry combined with financial strength will give the company “long-term stability” and the opportunity to develop.
Stordalen says the company has a portfolio of “strong Nordic brands” and amounts to a “crown jewel” among the region’s tour operators.
“It’s a fantastic business that has ended up in a very unfortunate situation,” says Altor partner Harald Mix.
He says that, through a restructuring scheme, the new owners will secure SKr6 billion ($620 million) in liquidity and guarantees.
The various operations are being moved to a new group, with some of the component firms filing for a technical bankruptcy to enable them to be taken over by the newly-established group being set up by the consortium.
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia will be renamed Sunclass Airlines. The carrier currently operates around 14 aircraft, a mix of Airbus A330s and A321s.
Ving Group stresses that bookings and trip organized through its tour operators will “continue as usual”.