Picture: REUTERS/DARREN STAPLES
Picture: REUTERS/DARREN STAPLES
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London — Thomas Cook Group is seeking an additional £150m to help tide the debt-laden travel giant through the coming winter, when fewer Europeans go on vacation.

Cook has made “significant progress” towards finalising the key terms of the original £750m recapitalisation with leading shareholder Fosun, its main lending banks and bondholders representing about 50% of its 2022 and 2023 senior notes, according to a statement Monday.

The additional capital “will provide further liquidity headroom through the coming 2019/2020 winter cash low period and ensure the business can continue to invest in its strategy”, London-based Cook said.

The 178-year-old holiday firm turned to a debt-for-equity swap as it grapples with a long-term decline in the popularity of package holidays in Europe that has stoked borrowings and shrunk margins. The group’s market value fell as low as £69m in July, compared with £2.2bn at its most recent peak in May 2018.

Thomas Cook reiterated that its refinancing, expected to be in place in early October, will require a reorganisation of the ownership of its tour operator and airline businesses as bank and bond debt is converted into equity, diluting current shareholdings.

The statement made no mention of Turkish investor and tourism entrepreneur Neset Kockar, who is demanding a role in rescuing the troubled Thomas Cook after his purchase of a stake led to a surge in the stock.

Bloomberg