Thomas Cook to sell insurance arm

Thomas Cook to sell insurance arm

Thomas Cook is reported to have put its White Horse Insurance unit up for sale.

The Dublin-based in-house insurance company could raise as much as £100 million.

Trade bidders and private equity companies are expected to be interested in the business, the Sunday Times reported.

This came as Cook said it was to ask shareholders to suspend its borrowing limit so it can fully use its banking facilities.

The request, made on Friday, is technical and is not an indicator of a worsening financial position at the business, the group said.

“This does not reflect any deterioration in the trading or financial position of the group or any requirement to increase the level of external borrowing above that already agreed by the group's current banking arrangements,” Cook said.

The group called a general meeting of shareholders to also approve the disposal of Cook’s 77% interest in Thomas Cook (India) to Fairbridge Capital for an expected £86.6 million, which will be used to reduce debt.

“These measures are a part of the group's previously announced action plan aimed at reducing debt and improving the resilience of its financing and capital structure,” the company said.

They follow the announcement of the group's new financing package in May which extended the maturity of its bank facilities until May 2015 approval for the sale of Spanish hotels and the sale and leaseback of aircrcaft.


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