Thomas Cook shareholders urged to support fundraising plans

Thomas Cook shareholders urged to support fundraising plans

Thomas Cook has issued a circular to shareholders outlining the importance of the sale and leaseback of part of its aircraft fleet and the disposal of five Spanish hotels.

The group said its directors were confident that investors would back the deals when they vote on the disposals at a meeting in London on May 29.

But it warned that failure to support the fundraising moves would jeopardise the company's recent £1.4 billion deal with lenders – including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays – to extend the maturity of its bank loans to 2015, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The company is now hopeful it has a platform for recovery, with its turnaround plan for the UK business focusing on fewer and better-quality hotels and a drive for more online bookings.

A spokeswoman said: "Thomas Cook is doing just fine and our customers' holidays are completely safe.

"Our banks have been very supportive and we have a new, flexible three-year banking deal in place. We fully expect the hotel sale and the sale and leaseback to go ahead as planned."

The circular confirmed losses of £262.7 million over the winter season, which it blamed on a poor performance across its North American and French businesses.

The company said bookings for the second half have been more encouraging but will now depend on how it performs in the important "lates" market.

Reports suggest that Cook is also close to appointing a new chief executive.

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