Wholesalers

A&K takes over Cox & Kings’ UK business – is Australia next?

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Wholesaler Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) has completed its acquisition of Cox & Kings’ UK business, following months of speculation.

The acquisition – for an undisclosed sum – brings Cox & Kings out of administration in the UK, and safeguards all jobs at the luxury wholesaler, as well as all current and future client bookings.

With parent company Cox & Kings Limited in India currently dealing with some serious financial woes, its UK arm recently began looking for a potential suitor to save it from extinction, according to TTG Media.

A&K founder and co-chairman Geoffrey Kent tweeted his excitement about the acquisition

“The acquisition expands our portfolio of product offerings in the UK, particularly with their established escorted touring program – a start of our growth plans in the UK and globally,” he said.

The question now is whether A&K will look to do the same with Cox & Kings’ assets in Australia.

Cox & Kings owned Tempo Holidays Pty Ltd (which traded as Tempo Holidays and Bentours) before it suddenly collapsed in late September and has since been placed into liquidation.

A preliminary investigation into the collapse revealed the administrator, William Buck, has been trying to sell Tempo, with a preliminary investigation finding 21 parties expressing interest, and 17 of those signing an NDA to access further information.

From those 17, William Buck received three non-binding indicative offers, and agreed to enter a period of exclusivity with its preferred bidder.

“The preferred bidder has been provided with a limited period to complete further due diligence,” the administrator said in October.

However, A&K’s regional managing director for the Asia-Pacific, Sujata Raman, told Travel Weekly the company has no current plans to resurrect Cox & Kings’ local operations.

A&K has hired some former employees of Tempo and Bentours in the wake of their collapse, and previously said it would take “some serious re-engineering” for another company to re-launch Cox & Kings if it folded completely.

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