THOMAS Cook India has acquired India's Sterling Holiday Resorts in a US$140 million cash and share-swap deal expected to be concluded by 4Q2014.
The deal is subject to statutory approval, after which Sterling will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Thomas Cook.
Madhavan Menon, managing director of Thomas Cook India, commented: “This is a win-win deal for both of us. Thomas Cook will be able to sell Sterling resorts to its own customers.”
Use of the Sterling brand will be discontinued as well, added Menon.
Sterling Holiday’s managing director, Ramesh Ramanathan, said: “With the cash infusion, Sterling will be able to ramp up the number of resorts and renovate the existing ones.”
Business has been sluggish in the vacation ownership segment due to the depressed economic climate. Sterling, which has 19 full-service resorts in 16 destinations in the country and 1,477 apartments, has seen its occupancy levels rise from 16 per cent to 52 per cent in recent years. It has 70,409 members and gets half its business from non-members.
Manoj Bhadola, COO of Worldwide Tour Services New Delhi, said: “The marketing prowess of Thomas Cook will certainly fill up occupancy and help build the resorts according to customer needs and demand.”