Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Latest news
Main » Chinas Fosun Group confirms rescue bid for embattled Thomas Cook

Chinas Fosun Group confirms rescue bid for embattled Thomas Cook

14 July 2019

He added: "After evaluating a broad range of options to reduce our debt and to put our finances onto a more sustainable footing, the Board has made a decision to move forward with a plan to recapitalise the business, supported by a substantial injection of new money from our long-standing shareholder, Fosun, and our core lending banks".

The plan, which is still subject to the approval of shareholders and regulators, would involve Fosun's tourism group taking a controlling stake in Thomas Cook's tour operating business and a minority share in its airline arm.

"However, this proposal is the pragmatic and responsible solution to secure the future of the Thomas Cook business and brand and to preserve as much value as possible for all our stakeholders".

If this collaboration is to be truly effective, Fankhauser alongside the rest of the Thomas Cook Group, need to be fully prepared and ready to accept radical change that is ahead.

British travel firm Thomas Cook announced on Friday that it was in "advanced discussions" with Chinese conglomerate Fosun and multiple banks regarding a £750m capital injection and the break-up of the group.

More news: Social Media Clampdown May Loom Amid Rampant Bias

The company said the injection would "provide sufficient liquidity to trade over the winter 2019/20 season and the financial flexibility to invest in the business for the future".

The proposal, which is subject to due diligence and further talks, will see a significant amount of Thomas Cook's debt, which Refinitiv data shows stands at £1.8 billion, converted into equity, nearly wiping out existing shareholders.

"Management say they are pausing the sale but it is likely be dead if Fosun take over".

Fosun Tourism is already Thomas Cook's biggest shareholder with an 18 % stake.

The world's oldest travel company has been battered by fading demand for its package holidays, high debt and a hot 2018 summer in Europe, which deterred bookings.

More news: Huawei calls on US to lift export restrictions

Ultimately, Thomas Cook is in the position it is because its business model has not majorly evolved since it first began as a typical all-inclusive package holiday tour operator.

Analysts said Thomas Cook's predicament showed how businesses needed to be careful with their balance sheets, particularly in sectors with unpredictable costs and earnings.

Thomas Cook, worth roughly $4 billion after it debuted in June 2007, now has a market value of about $255 million and has seen its stock more than halve in value so far this year.

A deal would add the tour operator, which had revenue of £7.4 billion past year, to Fosun's overseas purchases of brands, including Club Med resorts and Cirque du Soleil.

It is one of China's so-called "gray rhino" companies - along with Dalian Wanda Group Co (萬達集團), HNA Group Co (海航集團) and Anbang Insurance Group Co (安邦保險集團) - that have come under growing scrutiny in the past few years from Chinese authorities wanting to crack down on debt-fueled foreign acquisitions.

More news: Amir Khan beats Billy Dib to claim WBC international welterweight title

Chinas Fosun Group confirms rescue bid for embattled Thomas Cook