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Thomas Cook plans £400m rights issue 7 May 2013

Travel group Thomas Cook is hoping to bolster its cash position through a £400 million rights issue, media reports are suggesting.

A story in this weekend’s Sunday Times, suggests that the rights issue is likely to be within the ‘coming weeks’ and will be confirmed in the group’s forthcoming half year results.

The news comes as the company’s share price has enjoyed a steep ascent in recent months, rising to 137 pence from a low of just 10 pence in November 2011.

In February this year, the group confirmed that Thomas Cook Airlines UK was to merge with its sister airline brands in Germany and Belgium.

Following the merger TCA UK, Condor (Germany) and TCA Belgium became one airline with a board chaired by the group head of travel and the chief executive of Condor.

In March, Harriet Green outlined further cost savings on top of the £160 million already announced. Another £50 million in savings is set to be found and a new corporate identify programme introduced reducing the group’s operating brands from 27 to nine.

Speaking to journalists in March’s two hour presentation, Green said: “In delivering our market strategy, we have been rigorous, objective and fact-based. We had lots of data already but we didn’t think we had enough to challenge the industry myths.

“We investigated the performance of different industry business models and compared what we saw externally with our own best practices across the group – particularly with our strongest markets like Germany and Northern Europe.”

Green said the entire management team from across the group was involved as well as many external experts to really challenge the business and ensure they ‘didn’t dodge any of the tough questions’.

She added: “We aim to drive growth first in our sun and beach businesses where we have leading strengths. Then we intend to expand into fast-growing holiday types where our trust and customer relationships give us a competitive edge.

“Many of our sun and beach customers take these types of holidays already but we haven’t been close enough to them to be able to meet their holiday needs beyond the summer vacation. We intend to change this.”



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