Thomas Cook Group shares have gone into freefall following the disclosure of £1.45 billion winter half-year losses on Thursday.

Shares in the company fell by as much as 29% this morning to under 14p.

The level is just above the low in February 2012 which triggered concerns over its future viability.

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Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told the BBC that the slide was because of a sell recommendation from leading City broker Citigroup, with a 0p target price. 

“Yesterday, management had stated that they had received multiple bids for its airline assets,” he said.

“The problem the company is now facing given its huge debts is that they may have to sell these assets at fire sale prices, as investors and markets lose confidence of the ability to turn the business around.”

Citigroup wrote: “Although the group has long-standing hotel partners which have been supportive we fear that further weakness in the bonds/shares may also cause them to seek to tighten payment terms.”

Thomas Cook has agreed terms for a £300 million cash injection from its banks to give its breathing space to sell its airline.

The company is cutting 100 jobs from its head office in Peterborough and closing 27 shops with the loss of 320 staff as part of winder cost saving measures.


Podcast: Who might buy Thomas Cook?


Chief executive Peter Fankhauser warned of further cuts in the second half of the financial year.

Begbies Traynor partner Julie Palmer warned yesterday: “A number of factors are piling on the pressure including a vicious holiday price war, rising fuel prices and Brexit uncertainty, plus the fact that other areas of the business simply have too many high street branches – which continues to dent profitability.

She told City AM: “Although it says it has received multiple bids for its airline in the current climate with an environmental movement suggesting people are trying to make fewer journeys via air, the number of potential investors and the amount they are willing to pay could start to shrink.

“This means Thomas Cook’s need to sell its airline business to balance out the books will become increasingly urgent as time runs down to get the best price.”

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