Hays Travel paid “just over £6 million” for Thomas Cook’s network of 555 stores.
The figure was revealed during the Thomas Cook inquiry in Westminster this morning by Dean Beale, chief executive of the Insolvency Service.
He added that deal – which equates to about £11,000 per shop – was the “best deal on the table” and a good price for creditors.
When this was revealed, MP Ian Liddell-Grainger commented: "That isn’t a lot."
Beale said there were some leases of "little or no value" in the whole retail estate.
Elsewhere, when asked if the Thomas Cook airline was profitable, Beale said: “Court was satisfied based on the evidence it received that the entity was insolvent.”
He added he believed half a million customers are owed money for unfulfilled Cook holidays.
Beale further added that the Official Receiver’s legal advisers are “examining contracts with the directors” to potentially get bonuses back from Cook bosses.
These amounted to £20 million over Cook’s final five years.
Giving evidence, former Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa said the reason for MyTravel merger was to give “huge presence in northern Scandinavian market”, which he still believes was the "right decision".
He added Cook was in “great shape” two or three years after the financial crash in 2008.
However, business, energy and industrial strategy committee chair Rachel Reeves responded that "a little bit more humility and introspection about what went on wouldn’t go amiss”.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook chief executive for two years until 2014, Harriet Green, revealed the circumstances around her leaving the company.
Green said she was called into a meeting and told "you’re doing a great job, thank you, but we would like a person from the travel industry to take the business forward now".
Asked about expenses, she said it was necessary costs while living away from home three days a week: "In my second year I reduced my expenses by a third."
"It would be really good to see somebody from Thomas Cook say to your customers & suppliers & employees, 'I wish we had made different decisions', rather than passing the buck to someone else": MP Rachel Reeves pulling no punches in the #ThomasCookInquiry pic.twitter.com/wbv2B8l589— Pippa Jacks (@philippajacks) October 23, 2019
.@harrietgreen1 tells the #ThomasCookInquiry she divested of 9 businesses on her watch that were not making returns, in order to focus on the core. "I did not believe the future of the business lay in a capacity-race strategy". pic.twitter.com/VlVzsqRMcS— Pippa Jacks (@philippajacks) October 23, 2019
.@harrietgreen1 reveals her reason for leaving Thomas Cook, stating she was summoned by the chairman and told "you're doing a great job thank you, but we would like a person from the travel industry to take the business forward now" #ThomasCookInquiry pic.twitter.com/atELAu0xDz— Sophie Griffiths (@TTGTravelQueen) October 23, 2019
Green also addresses press speculation about her expenses, insisting she was justified in her spending due to the amount of travel and time away from home that was necessary to do her job she says. Green adds:"In my second year I reduced my expenses by a third" #ThomasCookInquiry https://t.co/QtKfxrpxGY— Sophie Griffiths (@TTGTravelQueen) October 23, 2019
.@harrietgreen1 insists 5 initiatives she oversaw put the business in a better position - inc digital developments, centralised procurement & shedding high st branches. "If this plan had continued, it would have positioned Cook viably for the future", she says. #ThomasCookInquiry— Pippa Jacks (@philippajacks) October 23, 2019
"Would I do things differently?Some things, yes",says Fontenla-Novoa.But he insists,"I got the major decisions right".Asked if he believes his decisions contributed to Thomas Cook's collapse,Fontenla-Novoa is emphatic in his response: "No".Not sure the MPs are convinced though... https://t.co/BYNY5soibo— Sophie Griffiths (@TTGTravelQueen) October 23, 2019