Thomas Cook finds buyers for its shares in £305m rights issue

 
Marion Dakers
THOMAS COOK has found buyers for 96.76 per cent of the shares in its £305m rights issue, the travel firm said yesterday.

Credit Suisse and Jefferies, joint brokers on the sale, were left with just 13.3m shares to place outside of the rights issue.

Later in the day the firm said the leftover shares were placed at an average price of 123.35p per share.

Thomas Cook announced the two-for-five rights issue in mid-May as part of a refinancing plan to cut its debt pile and eventually resume dividend payments.

The plan also includes issuing £441m of new bonds, and an agreement for £691m of new banking facilities.

Chief executive Harriet Green has been cutting jobs, closing stores and selling off assets since she joined the firm in July 2012, in a bid to slash costs and stem losses.

Shares in Thomas Cook closed 1.6 per cent lower at 124.5p yesterday, outperforming the rest of the FTSE 250.

The shares have soared from around 13p since Green took the reins, helped by her cost-cutting measures and a push towards online holiday sales.

A quarter of Thomas Cook’s 2012 sales were made online, behind rivals such as TUI Travel, which generated a third of its sales on the web.