Thomas Cook Files for Bankruptcy After Bailout Talks Fail
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September 22, 2019 - by James Ludden for bloomberg.com
- Thousands of British tourists are left stranded across Europe
- Company, founded in 19th century, collapses under debt burden
Thomas Cook Group Plc, the 178-year travel company that became one of the U.K.'s best-known brands, has collapsed under a pile of debt, leaving tens of thousands of British tourists stranded across Europe.
The company filed for administration early Monday at the High Court in London after talks to raise additional funding failed, Thomas Cook said in a statement. AlixPartners LLP was named an adviser and will work with the country's Civil Aviation Authority to get holidaymakers back home over the next two weeks. The government called it the "largest repatriation in peacetime history."
"Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable," Chief Executive Officer Peter Fankhauser said.
The filing caps months of negotiations with investors led by China's Fosun Tourism Group, which proposed a $1.1 billion bailout in exchange for control of the company's tour operations and a minority stake in its airline.
The plan also involved swapping debt for equity and the issue of new shares.
Formerly a member of Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 Index, Thomas Cook is a high-profile victim of the...