May 21, 2019

Thomas Cook pushes ahead with expansion despite market fears

Thomas Cook intends to push ahead with expansion plans despite growing doubt over the 178-year old UK travel group's ability to continue trading. The new hotel, based in Chania, Crete, will open on Saturday and be Thomas Cook's first family-focused own-brand property. Thomas Cook's shares shed more than half of their value in recent days after the group reported a pre-tax loss of £1.5bn and revealed its auditor had noted material uncertainties over the successful sale of its airline business and a new credit facility. The share price, which fell as low as 8p on Monday, recovered 17 per cent on Tuesday to trade around 12p. The company's bonds maturing in 2022 traded up slightly, but remained at a heavily distressed price of around 40 cents on the euro. The cost to insure against a Thomas Cook bond default using five-year credit default swaps was around 67 percentage points upfront by the close of dealings on Monday, according to Bloomberg data, meaning it now costs $67m to insure $100m of debt, on top of $5m a year in premiums.

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