Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, a property and casualty insurer run by Prem Watsa, yesterday agreed to buy debt-ridden travel services provider Thomas Cook Group Plc's 77 per cent stake in its Indian operations for about Rs817.4 crore ($150 million).
The Toronto, Ontartio-based company's unit Fairbridge Capital will pay Rs50 per share, representing an 18 per cent discount to Thomas Cook India's closing price of Rs61.05 on the National Stock Exchange yesterday.
Fairbridge Capital clinched the deal after outbidding private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and T A Partners.
Under the terms of the deal, Fairbridge Capital will have the right to use the Thomas Cook brand name for twelve-and-a-half years in India and Mauritius.
"We are pleased to announce this acquisition and to own such a well-known and strong Indian business," Fairfax CEO, Watsa said in a statement.
Watsa added that Madhava Menon, Thomas Cook India's chief executive, would continue to lead the business.