Thomas Cook set for 400 mln stg fundraising -sources

Wed May 15, 2013 4:34pm EDT

May 15 (Reuters) - British tour operator Thomas Cook Group Plc will announce plans to raise about 400 million pounds ($609 million) through a placing and rights issue on Thursday, according to two travel industry sources.

The company will also say it has agreed to new long-term banking facilities, the sources said.

Thomas Cook could also publish results for the six months ended March on Thursday, according to the sources. The company had previously said it would report first half results during May but has yet to give a date.

The story was first published by Sky News earlier on Wednesday.

The fundraising will help the company reduce its debt and support its ongoing efforts to restructure its finances.

Thomas Cook had said earlier that it reduced debt by 86 million pounds to 1.56 billion pounds over the last year and that it would cut 2,500 UK jobs and close 195 stores in Britain. It also said that it expected to cut costs by a further 60 million pounds this year.

The 172-year-old group has struggled over the last two years with a slump in sales that has forced it to renegotiate bank loans and sell off planes and retail outlets to lighten its debt load.

Thomas Cook declined to comment on the matter.