Belfast Telegraph

Thomas Cook close to loans deal

By Peter Cripps

Travel giant Thomas Cook has confirmed that it is close to thrashing out a deal to secure the struggling group's future.

The 170-year-old company said it is in "advanced discussions" with lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, to agree a refinancing expected to extend the maturity of its bank loans to 2015.

The deal would provide the firm with stability following a period of crisis last year when it suffered three profit warnings, the departure of its chief executive and was forced to take an emergency £200m loan.

However, it has been reported that the consortium of 17 banks will extract a heavy price for the new loans by including the right to take 5% of the company's shares, as well as higher interest and a one-off fee.

Thomas Cook shares tumbled below 10p at the end of last year but have recovered to 20.5p since then.