Thomas Cook unveils credit deal

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The Independent Online

The struggling tour operator Thomas Cook unveiled a one-year extension to its banking facilities yesterday, a week after it shocked the markets with its third profits warning in a year.

The new arrangement – £200m loan and £850m credit facility through to May 2014 – comes amid speculation the company could also sell £200m of assets in order to reduce debt. The group is believed to be seeking buyers for several hotels and a European office, as well as its stake in the air-traffic control service Nats.

In addition to the extension, Thomas Cook said the 2.75 per cent interest margin – over the interbank Libor rate – on the facilities had been cut to between 2 and 2.5 per cent.

Thomas Cook said last week that rising fuel costs, the consumer downturn and the turmoil in north Africa meant full-year operating profits would be some £60m less than expected at about £320m.

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