Thomas Cook confirms finance talks

Thomas Cook confirms finance talks

Thomas Cook has confirmed that it is in advanced talks with its banking group over an extension to its financing agreements.

The statement follows a story in the Sunday Times which claimed Cook was close to an agreement with Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays which would see it extend the maturity of its bank loans to 2015 and receive new loan conditions

The newspaper also reported that Cook’s total debt was £1.25 billion.

A statement from Cook said: “Thomas Cook Group plc confirms that it is in advanced discussions with its banking group about extending its financing arrangements.

“These discussions are part of the result of the strategic review the Group has undertaken since agreeing terms of a new facility in November 2011. The Group expects to report in more detail on the results of that review by the time of the interim results.

“In addition to the revised financing arrangements, the previously announced asset disposal programme and the sale of Thomas Cook India, the Group is exploring a possible sale and leaseback of certain aircraft.”

A story on the Guardian website claimed the deal was with a consortium of around 17 banks, without whose agreement the bulk of Cook's debt would be due in April 2013.

The company launched its strategic review after requiring a £200 million loan extension last autumn. It has still to announce its new chief executive, following the departure of Manny Fontenla-Novoa last summer.

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