Thomas Cook Co-op merger gets go-ahead

Co-op and Thomas Cook are to create the UK’s largest high street travel agent after the Competiton Commission gave the green light to their proposed joint venture today (16 August).


The approval sanctions a merger between Thomas Cook, The Co-operative Group’s travel division and The Midlands Co-operative Society’s high street travel agent businesses, creating a company with an estate of 1,240 travel agent stores.

The announcement confirms provisional findings published last month which ruled the new venture was not likely to reduce competition in the high street package holiday market.

The merger is likely to trigger changes in the marketing teams at the three brands to avoid duplication of roles. Thomas Cook’s UK & Ireland retail chief executive Ian Derbyshire recently left to join his family child activity centre business, shortly after the departure of Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

Derbyshire’s departure was planned for earlier this year but he stayed to see through the CC investigation. Former managing director of sales Simon Robinson is taking over as leader for the joint venture when the deal is completed, which is expected to be in early October.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here