Thomas Cook waits on disposals vote

Thomas Cook is expected to see a breakthrough in its turnaround today when it secures approval for two key disposals, without which the holiday giant has warned it could collapse.

The tour operator, which appointed a new chief executive on Thursday, needs investors to back the planned sale and leaseback of part of its aircraft fleet and the disposal of five Spanish hotels.

Thomas Cook said in a shareholder circular that its directors were confident that the required majority would be achieved when investors vote on the disposals today.

Major stakeholders including fund manager Invesco, Standard Life and Marathon have all expressed support for the resolutions.

But failure to support the fundraising move would jeopardise the company’s recent £1.4 billion deal with lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, to extend the maturity of its bank loans to 2015.

Later in the week, the group will publish its interim results but has already revealed losses of £262.7 million for the winter period after a particularly poor performance in North America and France.

The group unveiled Harriet Green, who is currently the boss of Leeds-based electro components distributor Premier Farnell, as the person to lead its turnaround strategy from July 30.

The company was plunged into crisis in November after it went back to its lenders to ask for an additional £100 million lifeline, sparking fears of a collapse, but it is now hopeful that it has a platform for recovery.

Its turnaround plan for the UK business includes focusing on fewer and better-quality hotels and a drive for more online bookings.

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