Thomas Cook acquires booking website

A hotel booking website set up in 2003 was today snapped up by holidays giant Thomas Cook in a deal worth £21.8 million.

Egham-based supplies accommodation to the British travel industry and acts as an online booking agent for hotels, apartments and villas.

Managing director Haim Perry, who founded Hotels4U, will remain with the business having agreed to reinvest some of the sale proceeds.

Thomas Cook said the deal boosted its position in the independent travel sector, while it also strengthened its mainstream business.

Hotels4U features more than 30,000 properties and provides accommodation and resort transfers for more than 500,000 customers a year.

Mr Perry said: "As a business we now have access to the international markets that Thomas Cook is present in and therefore the opportunity for further growth."

Thomas Cook also said today that trading continued to be positive, with encouraging levels of demand this winter and for the summer season.