TUI has tried but failed to buy Thomas Cook’s internet domain name, according to reports.
Sky News says ‘sources close to the process’ said AlixPartners, the joint liquidator working alongside KPMG, has refused to sell the name to the travel giant.
TUI declined to comment, but it is believed it wanted to buy the URL because of long-running confusion among consumers between Thomas Cook and the Thomson brand.
According to Sky’s sources, the bid was rejected because TUI did not want to own the Thomas Cook brand outright.
Dozens of expressions of interest have reportedly been lodged to buy Thomas Cook’s name, with the leading contenders including its Chinese joint venture partner Fosun Tourism Group.
Alongside the Thomas Cook brand, it is believed Fosun wants to buy the British company’s stake in their Chinese hotels joint venture.
A deal is expected to be completed by liquidators within weeks.
The news comes as a sale of Thomas Cook’s Nordic operations was agreed to Norwegian billionaire Petter Stordalen, backed by private equity firms Altor and London-based TDR Capital.