Dec 19, 2019

Thomas Cook investigation needs broader horizons

Its decision came less than three months after Thomas Cook went into liquidation and the initial probe was announced - commendable speed for an organisation that has also frustrated many by going nowhere fast. Ever since Thomas Cook went bust, attention has focused on the group's separate disclosure of supposedly "Exceptional" costs, which flattered its profits. If there are concerns over the scrutiny of Thomas Cook's accounting practices in 2017 and 2018, then any probe must surely be extended further - because the company had been booking exceptional costs for years before then, when its auditor was PwC. If there are concerns over the accounting practices themselves, as EY flagged, then any probe must surely be extended wider - to those who prepared the financial statements, and the directors who signed them off. For shareholders in food ordering group Just Eat, the decision over which takeover bid to accept arguably comes down to one question: is a competitor ultimately going to eat your lunch?'s 0.121 new shares per Just Eat share was worth 916p, but based on a market value that has soared to 13.6 times 2019 revenue.

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