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Thomas Cook announces launch of £150m hotel fund

Thomas Cook Group has announced the launch of its hotel fund - Thomas Cook Hotel Investments - a joint venture with Swiss-based hotel property development company, LMEY Investments.

Thomas Cook Hotel Investments will consist of five seed hotel assets worth around £150m, and will focus on helping boost Thomas Cook’s growth of its own-brand hotel portfolio.

The joint venture will be 50/50 owned by Thomas Cook and LMEY.

Thomas Cook Hotel Investments will acquire hotel properties across Thomas Cook’s key destination markets, to expand its portfolio of own-brand hotels, leveraging the addition of third-party capital over time.

The five seed assets include two Thomas Cook hotels, the long-standing family resort Sunwing Kallithea in Rhodes and the Sunwing Makrigialos in Crete.

LMEY has agreed to contribute three hotels, including two Aldiana-branded hotels in Spain, one in Andalucia and the other in Alcadesia.

The third property will be the investment vehicle’s first joint project, the development of a fifth Casa Cook - the boutique lifestyle brand.

This fifth Casa Cook, the first in Spain, will open in Ibiza in Summer 2019, transforming an existing property combined with an adjacent plot of land into a stunning 200-room hotel. The Ibiza plot lies in Cala Gracio.

The first Casa Cook hotel opened in Rhodes two years ago, and second hotel officially opened on Kos last summer.

The third Casa Cook will open this summer on the Greek island of Crete, the first of the collection’s hotels dedicated to families. The fourth, in Brela, Croatia, will open in 2019.

Ingo Burmester, Thomas Cook’s chief hotels officer, said: “With the customer at the heart of our business, providing a high-quality own-brand hotel portfolio is integral to the success of Thomas Cook.

“The new hotel fund has been an objective for some time. We are now able to accelerate our plan to acquire established properties in popular destinations for us to transform into own-brand hotels. We are in discussions with several hoteliers across the Mediterranean and envisage announcing further projects over the coming months.

“Delivering some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the business and attracting a new generation of customers to Thomas Cook, Casa Cook is a key pillar in our own-brand hotel strategy.

“I’m particularly excited to be working with LMEY to develop our first Casa Cook in Spain - and in Ibiza, the perfect destination for the Casa Cook customer who looks for a beach retreat to match their urban lifestyle.”

Casa Cook is one of Thomas Cook’s seven own hotel brands which include the family resorts of Sunwing and the adult-only retreats of Sunprime, as well as Aldiana, the club and activity-focused hotel group.

The gross assets and profit before tax of the two Thomas Cook hotels transferred into the joint venture were £63.5m and £4.8m as at 30th September 2017.

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