Thomas Cook has batted away fresh speculation over its future and stressed it is “focused on completing” rescue deal with Chinese travel giant Fosun, believed to now be worth in excess of £1 billion.
The Financial Times reports Cook has sought to push back Wednesday’s proposed meeting of bondholders (18 September) to secure more time to hammer out the very final details of arrangements with Fosun.
Cook came to terms with Fosun, the company’s largest shareholder with an 18% stake, over a £900 million rescue deal last month, which would see Britain’s oldest travel company divided in two.
Fosun would inject £450 million fresh funding and take a majority stake in Cook’s tour operator and a minority stake in its group airline. A further £450 million would be put up by Cook’s lenders to secure a majority stake in the airline and a minority stake in the tour operator.
It comes after Sky News late last Thursday (12 September) reported Cook was seeking an additional £100 million cash headroom to tide it over until the deal gets over the line.
Cook has declined to comment on last week’s speculation and further reports in the business press around its future over the weekend, but stressed in a statement negotiations were ongoing.
“We announced on 28 August we have reached substantial agreement with Fosun and our creditors regarding key commercial terms of the recapitalisation of Thomas Cook,” said Cook.
“We remain focused on completing the transaction.”
The CAA, meanwhile, declined to comment on reports in The Times it was making contingency plans in the event of the rescue deal falling through and Cook collapsing.
“We’re in regular contact with all large Atol holders and constantly monitor company performance,” the authority told The Times, adding: “We do not comment on the financial situation of the individual businesses we regulate.”
TTG has approached Cook and the CAA for any additional comment or clarity.