TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Thomas Cook Group is pleased to announce
that we have reached agreement with our banking group to provide the
Group with a new facility that significantly improves the robustness of
the Group's financial position.
Our banks, led by Barclays, HSBC, RBS and UniCredit, have agreed to
provide a new £200m facility available until 30 April 2013, which
replaces the £100m short-term facility announced on 21 October 2011. In
addition, they have agreed a further relaxation of the financial
covenants under the existing facilities. This provides the Group with
much increased headroom to deal with unexpected events and the effects
of an uncertain economic environment.
As previously announced, the Board is taking steps to reduce the Group's
debt and reach a more appropriate capital structure over time. The
Group will also undertake a strategic review.
The Group will announce its preliminary results for the twelve months
ended 30 September 2011 during the week commencing 12 December 2011.
Sam Weihagen, Group Chief Executive, Thomas Cook Group plc said:
"I am absolutely delighted that we have reached agreement and I would
like to thank the banks for acting so swiftly. Over the last few days,
we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from our
holidaymakers, suppliers and partners and I would like to thank them
for their good wishes and our employees for their hard work and
dedication. For over 170 years Thomas Cook has provided customers
across the world with fantastic travel experiences. Today they can look
forward confidently to holidays with us for many years to come."
Notes to the Editors:
The new £200m revolving credit facility recognises the Group's seasonal
working capital patterns. The facility has the benefit of a limited
security package over shares. It will be available to the Group until
30 April 2013. The initial interest margin over LIBOR payable on the
new facility will be 5% per annum, increasing by 0.50% per annum each
quarter. In addition, a commitment fee and, in certain circumstances, a
utilisation fee is payable.
The existing credit facilities comprise a £150m amortising term loan and
a £850m revolving credit facility which mature in May 2014. The
interest margin on these facilities remains unchanged.
The banks will be issued warrants to subscribe 42,914,640 new ordinary
shares of the Company (representing 4.9% of the issued share capital of
the Company) exercisable at a strike equal to the average closing price
for Friday 25 November 2011 and Monday 28 November 2011, at any time
until 22 May 2015.
In addition, the covenant levels on the existing and new facilities have
been further relaxed as follows:
Leverage covenant: the ratio of consolidated adjusted net debt to leverage EBITDAR must be
less than or equal to 5.0x for the testing period ending in December
2011, 4.75x for the testing period ending in March 2012 and 4.5x in
respect of all subsequent testing periods
Fixed charge cover covenant: the ratio of fixed charges to fixed charge EBITDAR must be greater than 1.5x.
These relaxed financial covenants will continue to be tested at the end
of each calendar quarter on a rolling twelve month basis. The revised
covenant levels apply until 31 March 2013 at which time they will
revert to the original covenant levels.
The Group has agreed to a number of other additional restrictions
including no new share or business acquisitions, a limit on capital
expenditure and, as previously announced, a prohibition on dividends
and share buy-backs.
The arrangement and participation fees with respect to the new
arrangements will cost circa £10m.
In addition to the existing term and revolving facilities the Group has
£200m of committed bilateral bonding and guarantee facilities provided
by seven banks that are covered by the new amended agreement, which is
unsecured and principally for consumer protection.
SOURCE Thomas Cook Group (Canada) Limited
For further information:
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