Paris: Hopes of a bailout for Thomas Cook Group Plc are diminishing as the U.K. government is poised to reject an appeal from the tour operator for a rescue, the Times of London reported Saturday, without saying where it got the information.
Shares in the company tumbled 23% on Friday after it said it would require 200 million pounds ($250 million) in additional funds heading into the autumn season when travel firms spend more than they earn. After the Financial Times reported that the group approached the U.K. government to appeal for a state bailout, Sky News said the company plans to hold last-ditch talks Sunday morning with its biggest shareholder and creditors at the London offices of law firm Slaughter & May.
Sky reported earlier on Saturday that hedge fund CQS Management has walked away from talks to provide urgent liquidity to Thomas Cook, citing unidentified sources.
The company, its lenders and advisers have been working on a plan to devise a way of keeping its airlines in the U.K., Germany and northern Europe out of administration while letting its British tour operating arm fail, but the plan had been discounted as being “too complex,” according to Sky News.
Thomas Cook said Friday it needs another 200 million pounds on top of 900 million pounds from a bailout led by Fosun Tourism Group. As many as 150,000 Britons could be stranded abroad if the company that invented the package holiday collapses, the FT said.
A spokesman for Thomas Cook declined to comment on both The Times and Sky News stories. A spokesman for CQS also declined to comment.