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Thomas Cook to sell its financial services arm

LONDON. Thomas Cook<.> leaked information in the press that it is about to dispose of its financial services unit, after…

LONDON. Thomas Cook  leaked information in the press that it is about to dispose of its financial services unit, after  it was approached by major banking groups.
This unit, which has a market presence of more than 150 years, includes the issuing of travelers cheques and the operation of foreign exchange desks at major international airports, implants in HSBC branches inside the 700-strong UK retail travel shops.
This decision follows Preussag`s decision to sell it stake in Thomas Cook, following its acquisition of a controlling stake at Thomson Travel Group.
The division, valued at £300 million, was increasingly loosing importance within the group, as it now accounts for only 20% of its operating income. It is believed that the selling of the financial services arm would make Thomas Cook a more interesting acqusition target for potential buyers such as Kuoni, Rewe, P&O and Walt Disney Travel which concentrate on travel and not foreign exchange. The Carlson group, which owns 23% of Thomas Cook remains the main favourite to buy the company from Preussag.

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