Thomas Cook sells Spanish hotel business

Kasmira Jefford
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CRISIS-HIT tour operator Thomas Cook has sold off its interests in a company that owns a golf club and a chain of Spanish hotels in a drive to pay down its £1bn-plus debt pile.

The 170-year old firm has sold its 51 per cent stake in Hoteles Y Clubs De Vacaciones to the hotel arm of Iberostar for €72m (£60.7m).

Sam Weihagen, acting chief executive, said the sale, which will reduce Thomas Cook’s net debt by €94.6m, showed the firm’s “ongoing commitment to strengthen the balance sheet”.

Thomas Cook shares nose-dived last month after the operator postponed its results and asked its syndicate of 17 lenders to come to the rescue with a further £100m of financing.

The company has issued three profit warnings in the past 19 months and warned of deteriorating trading conditions, and is looking to sell up to £200m non-core assets over the next six to 18 months.

Shares fell 2.95 per cent to 14.82p.