Thomas Cook collapses after knife-edge talks, stranding thousands
Thomas Cook has gone into administration after knife-edge talks over the weekend with its lenders, shareholders and the UK government failed to piece together a rescue package for the 178-year old travel company.
Following a drawn out day of negotiations at the City law firm Latham & Watkins on Sunday, the Thomas Cook board said that despite “considerable efforts” the failure of the talks meant “it had no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect”.
The collapse of the travel company leaves 21,000 jobs at risk and 150,000 UK holidaymakers stranded abroad, reliant on an effort by the government’s Civil Aviation Authority to put together the biggest emergency repatriation in peacetime.
A further 350,000 foreign nationals are also abroad on the tour operator’s holidays.
In a statement Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said that the company had worked “exhaustively” over recent days to salvage a £1.1bn rescue deal.
“It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful. I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years. Despite huge uncertainty over recent weeks, our teams continued to put customers first, showing why Thomas Cook is one of the best-loved brands in travel,” he said.
The restructuring specialist AlixPartners was appointed to oversee the administration.