Published on Monday, September 23, 2019

Chief exec apologises for Thomas Cook's failure

Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser has spoken of his 'profound regret' that he was unable to push though a rescue deal.

Speaking after the company's failure, he said he understood the outcome 'would cause a lot of anxiety, stress and disruption'.

He added: "I want to apologise to my 21,000 colleagues who I know will be heart-broken. We all fought so hard to make Thomas Cook a success."

Earlier, Fankhauser said: "We have worked exhaustively in the past few days to resolve the outstanding issues on an agreement to secure Thomas Cook's future for its employees, customers and suppliers. 

"Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable.

"It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful. I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years. Despite huge uncertainty over recent weeks, our teams continued to put customers first, showing why Thomas Cook is one of the best-loved brands in travel."

He added: "This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world."

On Sunday evening, Fankhauser remained silent as he left a crucial 11th-hour meeting.

The company met its biggest shareholder and creditors at 9am on Sunday morning in a last-ditch attempt to secure a rescue deal.

The meeting finished shortly after 5.30pm. As Fankhauser left the service exit of law firm Latham & Watkins, he did not answer questions from waiting journalists on whether a deal had been reached.

The meeting had aimed to find a way to salvage the £900 million rescue deal, led by investor Fosun Tourism, which had agreed to put in half of the money.

The operator's banks said the company needed to secure an extra £200 million.

According to reports, Thomas Cook put in a last-minute plea to the Government for £250 million. When the Government said it would not put up the cash, Thomas Cook was forced to admit defeat.

Click here for background on Thomas Cook.

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