Friday 3 May 2019 3:29 pm

Thomas Cook angles for fresh '£400m' financing ahead of interim results

Thomas Cook has confirmed it is in discussions to lock down debt funding which is reportedly worth up to £400m from its lenders, as it gears up to release financial results which could shed light on the package holiday firm’s torrid year so far.

The company is in advanced negotiations with its syndicate of banks to provide the cushion as the pressure mounts to bolster its finances.

The package holiday operator is now expected to give further details the move alongside its interim results on 16 May. The funding would come on top of existing debt options of £875m.

Sources told Sky News the extra financing would be worth up to £400m.

Thomas Cook said this afternoon it has taken the "proactive step of engaging in discussions with our lending banks now to ensure we have both the financial flexibility necessary to maintain an appropriate liquidity buffer through the winter, and also the ability to continue to invest in our strategy of growth".

Peter Fankhauser, Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Cook, said: "We have taken a number of prudent early steps to de-risk our business by taking out capacity in a challenging consumer environment.

"We have also taken the proactive step to approach our financing partners and are engaged in constructive discussions to ensure we have the flexibility and resources to continue investing behind our plans over the long-term.”

The news comes days before the 7 May cutoff date for bidders to lodge expressions of interest in buying the company’s airline arm.

Reuters reported earlier this week that aviation investor Indigo Partners, which was in talks with Icelandic operator Wow Air before it went bust in March, is expected to bid.

A sale would enable the world’s oldest tour operator to pay down debt and invest in its hotels and online sales operation, so as to stand out from competitors.

The firm has already overhauled various parts of its business this year, closing high street outlets and reviewing its money arm as it shifts it focus to its core holiday operation.

A bumper 2018 summer hit Thomas Cook hard, as soaring temperatures in the UK caused many customers to hold off booking holidays abroad.

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