Market placing on the cards for Thomas Cook

Arcandor’s main lenders said they’re likely to sell most of the company’s stake in Thomas Cook Group to investors after the bankrupt German retailer defaulted on convertible debt.

“The most likely outcome would involve a market placing, off market sales or some combination of the two,” Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Commerzbank AG and BayernLB said in a statement.

“No course of action has been determined at this stage. A further announcement will be made if appropriate.”

The sale would involve a 43.9% stake in Thomas Cook, worth approximately £817m at current market valuation, that was given to the lenders by Arcandor as security for their loans.

Arcandor, founded in 1881, became one of Europe’s largest non-banking failures during the credit crisis when it filed for protection from its creditors in June.

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The group was hoping to hold on for now to its 52.7 percent stake in Thomas Cook, the majority of was fronted against loans of €960m from eight banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Commerzbank and Bayern LB.