KarstadtQuelle, the troubled German department store group, plans to acquire Thomas Cook, the tour operator, and expand the business - despite issuing a profits warning and reporting renewed losses yesterday.

Thomas Cook, founded by a Derbyshire temperance Baptist minister in the 1840s, is Europe's second-largest travel company.

It has changed owners several times in the past few years and is now jointly owned by Karstadt and Lufthansa. Thomas Middelhoff, Karstadt chief executive, said he planned to take over the airline's 50% stake and boost the business by acquisitions.

Source: Guardian