March 8, 2021

Thomas Cook asks the British Government for help to avoid suspension of payments



The tourist company Thomas Cook, in serious financial difficulties, has contacted the British Government to request a financial bailout to avoid suspension of payments, reports the BBC on Saturday.

The company confirmed Friday that it is looking for additional funds worth 200 million pounds (about 227 million euros), requested by banks, in order to secure its future.

Thomas Cook, who has 178 years of history, could file for bankruptcy this weekend unless he manages to find that amount.

Sources quoted by the BBC say that there are still "reasonable expectations" that Thomas Cook can reach an agreement with which to avoid suspension of payments and suggested that the Executive could help.

However, they also pointed out that the next 24 hours will be key to the survival of the travel group.

For its part, the Ministry of Transportation clarified that from that portfolio "do not speculate" on "the financial situation of individual businesses," in a statement.

Currently, there are 600,000 Thomoas Cook customers enjoying a vacation package, of which between 150,000 and 160,000 come from the United Kingdom.

The company had planned to seal this week a rescue package with its largest shareholder, the Chinese conglomerate Fosun, estimated at 900 million pounds (1,023 million euros), but has been delayed by the requirement of the banks – including RBS and the Lloyds- of having new reservations for winter.

Thomas Cook said Friday that talks to reach an agreement on "the final terms of the company's recapitalization and reorganization continue between Thomas Cook and a number of stakeholders, including the Chinese group Fosun and its affiliates."

These negotiations include a recent request for a seasonal reserve of 200 million pounds, which are additional funds to the injection of new capital of 900 million pounds previously announced.

A possible collapse could affect 150,000 British tourists and force the Civil Aviation Authority to repatriate them at a cost valued at 600 million pounds (682 million euros).

The company employs about 22,000 people, 9,000 of them in the United Kingdom and serves 19 million people a year in 16 countries.

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