It appears as if DER Touristik is in moving to acquire that last part of the Kuoni operation that is still standing operating as a national brand. According to travel trade publications in both France and Germany, DER Touristik is negotiating with the tour operator Travel Lab—it is known on the continent as Kuoni France. Reports indicate that negotiations should conclude by the end of February.
The deal would also include Travel Lab’s other brands: Vacances Fabuleuses, Scanditours, Celtictours, Donatello and Les Ateliers du Voyage. Current management of the company would remain in place for at least three years. Travel Lab has 220 French employees.
Until 2013, Kuoni France was part of the Kuoni Group. The tour operator has been owner-managed since a management buy-out. So, two years later, when DER Touristik Group took over the European tour operator business of Kuoni Group, Kuoni France was no longer one of them.
Kuoni Group has begun to sell off its assets in an effort to remain a viable entity, it sold its European assets in June 2015 to the Rewe Group, the mega supermarket brand that also includes DER Touristik among its components. A little more than seven months later, in early February 2016, the Swedish private equity firm, EQT Partners, announced that it had agreed to acquire the Kuoni Group in a deal that took the Zurich-based company private. Kuoni was been founded in Zurich in 1906.
The acquisition of Kuoni France will give DER Touristik a substantial share of the French travel market. Currently, DER Touristik is the Number 2 tour operator in Germany—behind TUI—although it claims to be Number 1 in long-haul business.