EbixCash acquires Cox & Kings' business travel division, IATA terminates licence to sell tickets

After closing its Australia and New Zealand operations last week, cash strapped Cox & Kings has now signed an agreement with EbixCash to sold its Indian corporate travel business to Mercury Travel, EbixCash’s corporate travel division. Post the agreement, some of the core employees of Cox and Kings will be transferred to the EbixCash payroll.

Cox & Kings has defaulted on multiple payments of commercial papers since June 2019, when the first default of Rs 150 crore was announced. As per the company latest regulatory filing, the company has defaulted on payments worth Rs 30 crore on September 20.

With the ongoing crisis, Cox and Kings, has got a 180-day limit from lenders to finalise a resolution plan. “We propose to meet the company’s financial obligations through a combination of internal accruals and monetization of assets, we are in the process of evaluating the potential of every business to generate cash flows” the regulatory statement read.

Established in 1758, the travel company is also looking to sell its European hospitality chain Meininger Hotels. Recently, the company has said in a clarification notice,” We have appointed Merchant bankers for a possible sale of our Meininger business.

In another BSE filing, the Indian tours and travel company announced that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has terminated its licence for selling tickets and asked the company to surrender it’s IATA ID Card. Company has requested authorities to re-instate its licence against clearance of dues.

In the meanwhile, company’s auditors DTS & Associates, have tendered their resignation, effective Sept 26 citing, “Post-financial default by the company, absence of any committed timelines for publishing Q1 results & as per annual client continuance assessment, they will not be able to continue as auditors.”

Cox & Kings is around US$500 million in debt. Headquartered in Mumbai, Cox and Kings has offices all around the country and employs over 5,000 people.

The stock price of Cox and Kings ended 0.08 points or 2% higher at Rs 4.06 on the BSE on Friday.