Thomas Cook sells stake in Spanish group HCV

13th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Troubled travel firm Thomas Cook announced on Tuesday the sale of its stake Spain's Hoteles Y Clubs De Vacaciones to Spanish leisure group Iberostar for 72.2 million euros ($95.5 million).

"Thomas Cook plc is pleased to announce today that it has reached agreement to sell its interest in Hoteles Y Clubs De Vacaciones S.A. (HCV) to ... the hotel division of Grupo Iberostar," it said in a statement.

"HCV is a holding company that, together with another shareholder, indirectly owns five Spanish hotels and one golf club as well as operating a second golf club in Spain."

HCV is being sold with net debt of 22.4 million euros, so the transaction will reduce Thomas Cook's total net debt by 94.6 million euros.

The group added Tuesday that the HCV divestment was part of its ongoing plans to sell up to £200 million (236 million euros, $312 million) in non-core assets.

"I am delighted that we have been able to agree this transaction which will significantly reduce Thomas Cook's net debt and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to strengthen the balance sheet," said chief executive Sam Weihagen.

Thomas Cook was last month forced to renegotiate bank loans and delay its annual results because of a slump in business, sparking fears over the health of Europe's second-biggest travel firm.

In reaction, the group's share price had plunged by 75 percent in value at one stage.

However, Thomas Cook subsequently secured a deal last month with banks for access to £200 million of funding until April 2013.

© 2011 AFP

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