One of Switzerland’s best-known retail brands Kuoni said Monday it was selling its European tour operating activities to German retailer REWE. The impending sale of its European tour operating business to the Rewe Group’s DER Touristik will end direct association with the Swiss public that began in 1906.
The Zurich-based firm had agreed to sell its tour operating business, as well as its travel agencies in Switzerland, Britain, Scandinavia, Finland and the Benelux countries to REWE’s travel arm DER Touristik.
The deal also includes Kuoni’s online sales business and the Scandinavian charter airline Novair, as well as its Las Playitas resort in the Canaries, it said in a statement.
According to industry observers, the group still faces a tough environment despite its strategy overhaul and is also seeking a buyer for its India, China and Hong Kong retail travel services.
Kuoni said in January it would sell the business, which generated sales of 2.2 billion francs last year, and focus on travel-services units where it holds leading market positions. Revenue at the units for sale fell 8 percent through May, the company said on June 11.
“With the sale of the entire European tour operating business we can complete the new strategic direction of the Kuoni Group more quickly than planned,” said Kuoni Chairman Heinz Karrer.
The acquisition by DER is subject to approval by competition authorities in the European Union and Switzerland, Kuoni said, adding it expects the transaction to be completed in the third quarter.