Thomas Cook Gets New Loan as Travel Operator Seeks to Refinance

Thomas Cook Group Plc took out a two-year loan to give it flexibility to cut debt and reduce interest costs amid a decline in bookings.

The London-based based company signed a new 150 million-pound ($220 million) loan facility, adding to its existing 800 million pounds of loans and bonds, according to a statement on Thursday. The new credit line gives Thomas Cook greater liquidity and financial flexibility as it starts buying back bonds, the company said in the statement.

Bookings this year fell 5 percent after demand dropped for holidays in Turkey following terrorist attacks in the company’s second-largest market. Thomas Cook plans to buy back 100 million pounds of bonds to cut interest costs as part of its commitment to reduce fixed-term debt by 300 million pounds by the end of 2018, according to the statement.

Moody’s Investor Service assigned the company a B1 rating, four levels below investment grade, citing the company’s exposure to declining demand for some destinations because of geopolitical risks. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings rank the firm the equivalent of one level lower, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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