As I write this note, we get ready to draw the curtains on 2017 and start getting ready to welcome another year. I hope that you have started planning how you will spend Christmas and the New Year, either on holiday, or making merry over the festive season.
This year has been a landmark year for the Thomas Cook Group with the acquisition of the DMS units from Kuoni Holdings in Zurich and the acquisition of the Foreign Exchange and Business Travel Units of Tata Capital. Consequently, our foot print has become global and covers 21 countries spanning 4 continents with 6500 employees, and 25 nationalities. The two erstwhile Tata Capital units have been renamed as TC Forex and TC Travel. The Group has 11 brands, including Thomas Cook, that are now housed in our Group. Please join me in welcoming all our colleagues in DMS, TC Forex and TC Travel into the family. This is yet another significant step in the transformation of Thomas Cook.
We recently sold 5.42% of our holdings in Quess to raise over Rs. 640 crores. We originally purchased in the company in 2013 for Rs. 124 per share or Rs. 257 crores. We will not reduce our holdings in Quess any further. This amount will substantially strengthen our balance sheet.
In all, it has been a very busy year! Having said that, over the last five years we have completed the acquisition of 12 companies. We have transformed ourselves into one of the leading travel players in Asia, becoming the largest Travel & Foreign Exchange group in India, and an Indian travel company with a Global footprint. I am sure you will agree with me that we have a lot to be proud off!
In 2017, several of our colleagues got married, some of us witnessed the marriage of our own children, and perhaps some of you became proud parents. I use this opportunity to congratulate you, and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2018.
May God bless you all.
With best wishes,