Belfast Telegraph

Thomas Cook sells five hotels

By Peter Cripps

Debt-laden Thomas Cook sold a stake in five hotels and a golf club in Spain as part of its pledge to offload assets worth £200m.

The company, which is due to present delayed annual results today, will continue to access the portfolio of hotels under a commercial agreement with purchaser Iberostar. The sale price is €72.2m (£61.4m) but with the hotels being sold with net debt of €22.4m (£19m), the deal will reduce Thomas Cook's borrowings by €94.6m (£80m).

Chief executive Sam Weihagen said the transaction, which still needs the approval of shareholders, would significantly reduce the company's debt.

There were fears over the future of the 170-year-old company after it had to ask its banks for an additional £100m lifeline. The deal with its bankers came as it said its French and Belgium markets saw bookings fall by up to 20% in recent weeks.

It is understood the firm could announce the loss of up to 1,000 jobs tomorrow, by closing 200 of its 1,100 UK travel shops.

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