The sale of Thomas Cook India to Fairbridge Capital (Mauritius) has been given the nod by the Competition Commission of India.

The nod comes after Fairbridge Capital Mauritius and Thomas Cook had approached the anti-monopoly watchdog with the combination proposal.

The notice was filed following an agreement of sale and purchase of share capital of Thomas Cook India made between Thomas Cook UK Ltd, Thomas Cook Group Plc, Fairbridge Capital, and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

On May 12, Fairbridge Capital, a fully-owned arm of Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, had purchased a 76.81 per cent stake in Thomas Cook India. The stake was purchased from Thomas Cook’s Britain-based parent for Rs 810 crore.

Fairfax Financial Holdings is a financial services holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, and investment management.

In February, Thomas Cook of the UK had said it was seeking a buyer for its stake in the Indian unit in an effort to reduce its £890 million debt. Thomas Cook India is the listed arm and is engaged in the business of providing travel and foreign exchange service.

The commission in its order said that, “At present, neither Fairbridge Capital nor Fairfax Financial Holding or any of their subsidiaries are engaged in the business of providing similar or identical services in India which Thomas Cook is engaged in. Therefore, the proposed combination is likely to give rise to any adverse competition concerns in India.”

bindu.menon@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 21, 2012)
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