Though there were profit warnings for Thomas Cook in July, in autumn the travel businesses of the Co-operative Group, Midlands Co-operative and Thomas Cook finally merged, guaranteeing a return to the Co-operative of at least £40m over the first four years – much better than its current annual profit.
The travel firm said it had seen a “deterioration of trading”, due to political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia and floods in Thailand. It is reported to be planning to close 200 of its 1,200 High Street travel agencies and bureaux de change.
Now, the BBC and other news sources report that shares in Thomas Cook have closed down 75% after it announced it was in talks with banks about increasing the amount of money it can borrow.
As Ursula Lidbetter wrote in the News:
After a major decision has been taken and members have been informed it is perfectly proper and beneficial to ensure that there is an opportunity at members’ meetings to discuss the decision, which was made and the reasons for it and members should take an active part in this in order to judge whether their directors made the decision in the members’ interests.
What will be the eventual verdict on this merger?