Reports that British travel operator Thomas Cook is mulling a takeover sent shares surging (PHILIPPE HUGUEN)

London (AFP) – Shares in Thomas Cook rose by almost a fifth on Tuesday after media speculation that the British travel operator could face a possible takeover bid.

The company’s share price jumped 18.04 percent to 28.92 pence in afternoon deals on the London stock market.

Sky News reported that Thomas Cook was holding talks with “a number of parties” over a potential takeover.

It added that China’s Fosun was interested in the British company’s tour operating business.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook declined to comment on the media report.

“Thomas Cook shares have jumped… as there is chatter that a number of private equity firms are considering bidding for portions of the business, or even for the group as a whole,” said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

The reports surfaced two months after the company launched a review of its airline, having posted a worsening quarterly loss on challenging trade.

Thomas Cook, which offers package holidays to northern Europeans looking for summer sunshine, also issued three profit warnings last year.

“The company has endured tough times along with other firms in the travel sector,” added Madden.

“Since 2018, the stock has dropped in excess of 75 percent, so the current business model is not working, but a spinning off of non-core assets might assist the group.”

Disclaimer: Validity of the above story is for 7 Days from original date of publishing. Source: AFP.