Thomas Cook gets survival loan

Troubled travel agency Thomas Cook Group, Peterborough, England, secured a £200 million (US$310 million) loan on Friday to keep the company afloat.

The banks, which include Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and UniCredit have agreed to provide a new £200 million facility until April 30, 2013, replacing the £100 million (US$155 million) short-term facility announced on October 21, 2011.

The rescue deal comes at a price, including about £10 million (US$15.5 million) in fees for the loan and an interest increase to 5% as well as a ban on new share and business acquisitions, a limit on capital expenditure and dividends and share buy-backs for the publicly traded company.

The company is planning on laying off 1,000 employees as it looks for a new CEO after top executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa resigned in August.

In 2010 Thomas Cook Group merged with The Co-operative Travel, Manchester, England, after its previous majority owner Arcandor AG, Essen, Germany, declared bankruptcy in 2009.