Gold Medal sold to Dubai firm for £45m

Thomas Cook Group has sold Preston-based luxury travel firm Gold Medal to dnata of Dubai for £45m.

Gold MedalGold Medal will continue as the exclusive supplier of long-haul scheduled flights to Cook businesses in the UK under a long-term commercial agreement.

The sale of Gold Medal will result in a loss of £34m, arising from the write-off of goodwill recognised at the time of acquisition in 2009.

Gold Medal employs 470 staff, all who are expected to remain with the business on completion of the transaction. The company recently reported turnover of £111m and was ranked 30th on the list of the county's 500 biggest companies by Lancashire Business View.

The sale of Gold Medal involves the disposal of the two trading companies, Gold Medal Travel Group and Airline Network. Their combined net profit was £6m in the year to last September.

Harriet Green, Cook Group's chief executive said: "This latest transaction represents another important step in the transformation of our UK business, consistent with our strategy of focusing on our core brands and products, whilst offering our customers choice and flexibility.

“We believe that this latest strategic partnership with Gold Medal and dnata will further enhance the wide range of flexible options we are able to offer our customers. “Extending our portfolio of strategic partnerships in this way is beneficial for all of our stakeholders and we look forward to working more closely with dnata in the future and wish the new venture continued success."