Petter Stordalen, a flamboyant Norwegian businessman and hotel and property developer, and two private equity firms, Stockholm-based Altor and London's TDR Capital, agreed on October 30 to buy Thomas Cook Northern Europe, also known as Ving Group, Reuters has reported.

The profitable Nordic business of collapsed Thomas Cook Group is comprised of Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, the tour operators Ving, Globetrotter, Spies, and Tjareborg, plus several hotel brands. Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia will change its name to Sunclass Airlines, its managing director Magnus Wikner revealed in a news conference held together with Stordalen, Sweden's Omni news agency said.

Employing around 2,300 people, Ving Group made an operating profit of SEK1.4 billion krona (USD145 million) last year. While Thomas Cook Northern Europe has its headquarters in Stockholm, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia is a Danish charter carrier based in Copenhagen Kastrup, operating eight A321-200s, one A330-200, and three A330-300s. It resumed its flights on September 24, one day after the British leisure holding collapsed and its operations were suspended. The Nordic group had been looking for a buyer since Thomas Cook’s liquidation.

“Through a financial restructuring, we, as the new owners, together with other financiers, will secure about SEK6 billion (USD623 million) in liquidity and guarantees. It secures operations and creates a solid base for future development,” said Harald Mix, a partner at Altor, in a joint statement with the other buyers.

Altor and Stordalen’s Strawberry Group will take 40% stakes in the new group, TDR Capital the remaining 20%. Ving Group said it had attracted a number of competing bids.

“Competition was rock hard to get in here, but we were the only group to work on a reconstruction that would secure one solution for all,” Stordalen said at the press conference. “Ving has always been a solid company. The truth is, Ving did everything right, Thomas Cook did everything wrong”.