Kuoni washes hands off Best Tours’ debts

SWITZERLAND’s Kuoni Group is at pains to emphasise that its acquisition of Best Tours in Belgium is only an “asset deal” and therefore it is not responsible for any debts of the legal entity.

In an email interview, Kuoni Group’s CEO Peter Rothwell told TTG Asia e-Daily: “The takeover of Best Tours in Belgium is an asset deal. This means, we did NOT take over the company. We bought only the brand Best Tours. Therefore Kuoni is not responsible for any debts of the legal entity. We are not informed in details about the amount of debts.”

But asked what was the best way forward for the brand to continue the relationship it had with hotel and ground partners, Rothwell said: “Our Benelux organisation will contact all suppliers the next few days and will discuss what future relationship they can build up with the Kuoni Group and the brand Best Tours.”

He added: “Of course we are aware of the reputation damage that happened to Best Tours due to the liquidation of the company. The brand Best Tours is now managed by Kuoni and we work on transferring the successful business management from Kuoni to Best Tours. Suppliers already working with the Kuoni Group know about the very good reputation of Kuoni worldwide.”

He said the acquisition of the brand was aimed at gaining a strong foothold in the Belgium market for the Kuoni Group, apart from its positive synergy effects with the existing Kuoni business in the Benelux.

Asked if the Best Tours account would shift to Asian Trails (it was handled by Exotissimo in Vietnam and Marintur in Indonesia), he said: “We only took over the brand less than a week ago. We will decide on the future setup the next few weeks.”

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