AlliedTPro, one of the oldest receptive tour operators in the United States, has been acquired by Thomas Cook India as part of a deal in which the Indian operator has announced its acquisition of the Kuoni Group’s destination management businesses worldwide. Thomas Cook India is owned by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., a Toronto-based firm that previously (2015) acquired the Kuoni brand in India and Hong Kong. Before that, Fairfax Financial had acquired Thomas Cook India in 2012.
The destination management component of Kuoni—founded in 1906, the Swiss travel company, one of Europe’s oldest travel brands, was acquired in February 2006 by the Swedish private equity firm, EQT Partners—covers some 17 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the U.S., including such Brands as AlliedTPro, which is headquartered in New York City; Asian Trails; Desert Adventures Tourism; Gulf Dunes, Private Safaris; and Australian Tours Management.
Overall, the Thomas Cook (India) footprint at the time of the acquisition, excluding subsidiaries, spanned 261 locations (including 21 airport counters) in 102 cities across India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
The founder, chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. Is Prem Watsa, a Canadian businessman who was born in India and came to Canada in the 1970s with just $8. He earned an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, supporting himself financially by selling furnaces and air conditioners.
After graduate school, he worked for an insurance company and, in 1984, tool over a small Canadian trucking insurance company that was on the verge of bankruptcy and renamed it Fairfax Financial Holdings. His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion.
AlliedTPro dates its history back to the mid-1950s as bus company that was purchased by the late Stanley Fisher—credited with being one of the founders of the international inbound tourism industry in the U.S.—and named Allied Tours. Kuoni acquired Allied Tours in 2000 and merged it with TPro, a former New York City-based competitor.