Thomas Cook in €1.8bn refinancing bid

Thomas Cook in €1.8bn refinancing bid

Thomas Cook Group is holding talks in the City in a bid to refinance its €1.8 billion banking facility.

The facility is a limited loan allowing the group to borrow cash according to its needs.

The deal expires in May 2011, but Thomas Cook hopes to have new arrangements in place by this summer.

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman refused to comment on whether the money might be raised through either a bond or rights issue.

“At this early stage, no decision has yet been taken,” she said. “Therefore, we can’t make any comment on specific refinancing options.”

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Thomas Cook employees to go on trial

In separate news, two Thomas Cook employees have gone on trial in Greece accused of the manslaughter of two children on the island of Corfu.

Nicola Gibson and Richard Carson are on trial, along with 10 Greek nationals, after the deaths of Robert Shepherd, six, and his sister Christianne.

Robert and Christianne, seven, died in October 2006 from carbon monoxide poisoning at a holiday apartment.

The defendants are all charged with manslaughter by negligence.

The children’s father Neil, 38, and partner Ruth Beatson, 28, were also in the apartment but survived the incident.

During the trial, the jury will hear evidence on whether the two Thomas Cook employees carried out the correct safety assessments at the apartment.

The family were on half term holiday when the incident happened at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel where they were staying.

A chambermaid found the children’s bodies.

The couple only became aware the children had died in the bungalow when they came round from treatment for the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.