Russian travel agency Intourist plans IPO after shareholder change

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Turkish investor will buy Intourist from insolvent Thomas Cook and plans an initial public offering (IPO) in Russia’s oldest travel agency once it is recapitalized, Intourist said on Friday.

Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel firm, collapsed in September and the heavily indebted business has been sold off in parts.

Neset Kockar, the chairman of Turkey-based Anex Tour who was a shareholder in Thomas Cook, said he planned to keep the Intourist brand and develop it with Anex Tour, which is also present in Russia, according to the Intourist statement.

“After the company (Intourist) is recapitalized and restructured, we will turn Intourist into a truly people’s company via an IPO in Russia,” he said in the statement.

It did not provide further details about the IPO.

Intourist, established in 1929, was the sole gateway for foreigners who wanted to visit the Soviet Union, generating foreign currency during the period when the country was largely closed off.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Edmund Blair