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China's Fosun in talks to inject $940 million into Britain's Thomas Cook

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By Reuters
China's Fosun in talks to inject $940 million into Britain's Thomas Cook
The Thomas Cook logo is seen in this illustration photo January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration   -   Copyright  Thomas White(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – China’s Fosun Tourism Group <1992.HK> said on Friday it is in advanced talks with Thomas Cook Group PLC’s <TCG.L> lending banks to inject £750 million ($940 million) into the London-listed travel operator.

Under consideration is a capital injection and new financing facilities, Fosun Tourism said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Fosun said the recapitalisation would entail a reshuffle of the ownership of Thomas Cook’s Tour Operator and Airline business, resulting in the Chinese firm owning a controlling stake in Thomas Cook’s Tour Operator and a significant minority interest in Thomas Cook’s Airline.

The development comes after Sky News reported on Thursday that Thomas Cook Group was in advanced talks about a deal with Fosun and its lenders to recapitalise its tour operating business.

The report cited bankers as saying a proposed deal involved Fosun and Thomas Cook’s lenders injecting hundreds of millions of pounds worth of new equity into the British company.

That report came a month after Thomas Cook said it was in talks with Fosun, its largest shareholder, over the sale of its tour operating business after the Chinese firm made a preliminary approach.

Thomas Cook said it had no comment on the Sky News report.

Fosun on Friday said its proposal envisages a significant amount of Thomas Cook’s external bank and bond debt will be converted into equity, and that existing Thomas Cook shareholders will have their stakes significantly diluted as a result of the recapitalisation.

The proposal is subject to due diligence and further discussion, among other things, Fosun said.

(Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru and Donny Kwok in Hong Kong; Additional reporting to Sathvik N; Editing by G Crosse and Christopher Cushing)