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Published on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Abercrombie & Kent buys Cox & Kings from administrators






Abercrombie & Kent Group has rescued Cox & Kings, which was placed into administration earlier today.

C&K Luxury Travel, which is part of Abercrombie & Kent, immediately bought the business and all of its assets for an undisclosed sum from the administrators, KPMG.

David Pike, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: "We are pleased to have been able to secure this deal with Abercrombie & Kent, which not only provides reassurance and continuity of service for customers, but which safeguards the jobs of Cox & Kings' experienced team."

Abercrombie & Kent said all Cox & Kings' 66 employees will transfer to C&K, which will honour all future bookings.

An A&K spokesman said the Cox & Kings brand will be retained, as will its offices in Millbank in central London.

"Cox & Kings is a premium luxury brand which specialises in escorted tours; Abercrombie & Kent is a luxury, tailormade brand so we compliment each other," he said.

Cox & Kings, founded in 1758, had been looking for new investors since earlier this year when its parent company Cox & Kings (India) started experiencing financial difficulties, which led to the collapse of another UK travel company, Malvern Group, owners of Super Break and LateRooms.

Abercrombie & Kent MD Kerry Golds said: "We're committed to investment in Cox & Kings. It's a renowned brand with an experienced and dedicated team that I'm looking forward to working with. I'm confident that with their strong trade relationships and loyal client base, we can take Cox & Kings to the next level."

Geoffrey Kent, A&K founder and co-chairman, added: "I am excited to be adding the Cox & Kings business to the Abercrombie & Kent family. The acquisition expands our portfolio of product offerings in the UK, particularly with their established escorted touring programme. This is just the start of our growth plans in the UK and globally."

A&K said it had already applied and been approved for a new ATOL for Cox & Kings and existing customers have been informed of the change of ownership. "I doubt they'll notice any difference, but they have been contacted," added the spokesman.

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  • Existing Bookings /C&K Americas

    This action from A&K still leaves a lot of issues circling and unanswered. Does this only address C&K UK and/or EU? Does it address C&K Americas. Does it really cover paid booking for pending travel? In the Americas, at this point, it appears most bookings made for dates not yet traveled have segments already cancelled by the destination suppliers (believing they will never see payment). For my clients, this is already the case for bookings to Egypt and Peru (one as early as next month and fully paid). We are already in contact with the end-providers who have cancelled pending services. USTOA has advised all travelers to file immediate credit card challenges and insurance claims before filing a claim with USTOA. USTOA has stated a claim deadline of 10Jan20, for any traveler's claim.

    By Fred Munroe, Friday, December 6, 2019

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