Thomas Cook Group Plc rose the most since December after Sky reported potential bidders have approached the debt-laden travel company to purchase all or part of its businesses.
Suitors have asked about taking over Thomas Cook’s tour operating unit, as well as the entire company, Sky News reported on Saturday, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. Fosun, Thomas Cook’s Chinese joint-venture partner, has expressed interest in buying the group’s tour operating business, Sky said.
Fosun had no immediate comment.
A Thomas Cook spokesman also declined to comment. The company has been working to restructure its business after a series of miscues last summer left the world’s oldest travel agent with a weakened balance sheet. Management said in February that the company is seeking to sell its airline arm to help pay off debt after banks agreed to amend covenants on the credit facility in 2019 and 2020.
Bloomberg News reported last week that one of its lenders was unable to sell 25 million pounds ($32.5 million) of exposure at a 30 percent discount.
Shares of Thomas Cook rose as much as 20 percent, the most since Dec. 12. They were up 14 percent to 27.97 pence as of 8:42 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 430 million pounds. The company has 1.4 billion pounds of total debt.
Thomas Cook’s 750 million euros ($843 million) of bonds due June 2022 gained 5 cents on the euro to 77 cents, the highest since March 29, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
AlixPartners is working with Thomas Cook to help repair its balance sheet, Sky said. FTI Consulting is advising a group of lenders, according to the news outlet.
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