Vinggruppen has presented its new owners. It will be the Stordalen-controlled Strawberry Group which, together with Altor Fund V (Altor) and TDR Capital, ensures a strong and long-term Nordic ownership of the Ving Group, which has a total of 2,300 employees in Ving, Spies, Tjäreborg and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia.
"I am incredibly pleased that Stordalen, Altor and TDR will be our new owners. Their great industry expertise and financial strength give us the long-term stability we need - and in addition, completely new opportunities to develop the range for our customers in the future. This agreement also means that the job of the more than 2,300 people working in the Wing Group, including our airline, is saved. I would like to thank all of our guests who have shown us one room support in recent weeks. Together with the new Nordic owners, we will now continue to give them the best weeks of the year," says Magnus Wikener, CEO of the Vinggruppen in the Nordic region.
"Today is a big day for a man who loves the travel industry. The wing group in the Nordic countries has created a portfolio of strong Nordic brands, and is today the crown jewel among Nordic tour operators. That is why I am extremely proud that, together with two solid partners, we have reached a solution that will enable us to secure the future of these companies. And not least, the 400,000 people who have already booked their Christmas holidays and their summer holidays through Ving, Spies, Tjäreborg and Globetrotter are now making their journey. This agreement primarily means predictability and security for customers and staff. And with a strong and long-term Nordic ownership, the Wing Group now has the conditions they need to do what they are best at: creating unique experiences for their guests and giving them "the best weeks of the year", says the new owner, Strawberry Group's Petter Stordalen.
"Vinggruppen is a fantastic company with good profitability, which has ended up in a very unfortunate situation. They are now market leaders in holiday travel, thanks to their own concepts such as Sunwing and Sunprime. They have also been the leaders in the conversion to online orders. Through a financial restructuring, we, as new owners, together with other financiers, will secure about SEK 6 billion in liquidity and guarantees. It secures the business and creates a stable foundation for future development," says Harald Mix, partner at Altor.
Strawberry Group and Altor buy 40 percent each of the company, and TDR Capital will buy the remaining 20 percent. All business will be transferred to a new company, where the transaction involves a combination of the acquisition of the entire company or the assets of certain companies from the former legal structure of the Vinggruppen. In purely technical terms, this means that some of the Swedish companies are now going bankrupt, and that all the businesses are then transferred directly to the newly established company, created by the new owners. The purchase includes all ongoing business and has no impact on the group's current guests or upcoming trips. In practice, this means that Ving Sweden (and also Thomas Cook Northern Europe and Thomas Cook Nordic Holding) will go bankrupt so that all business can then be directly taken over by the newly established company, provided the bankruptcy managers accept the bid. All parts of the business, including staff, are expected to be moved to, and continue to live in, the new company within the next 24 hours.