Thomas Cook India to be standalone debt-free by month-end

The Thomas Cook (India) said it will prepay about Rs 67 cr of corporate bonds to make the standalone company debt-free by the end of this month.

It said it will also pay off short-term debts using the proceeds of an offer for sale of its shares. This, said the travel and tourism company, will result in savings of around Rs 36 cr per year in terms of finance costs.

Thomas Cook India said it was able to pay back the debt due to “stable and strong cash flows from its operating businesses”.

The company offers eForeign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Insurance, Visa & Passport services and e-Business

In addition to the above pre-payment of debentures, the company said it targets further reduction of its group debt over the next three financial years.

Debasis Nandy, President & Group Chief Financial Officer, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said: “Our organic growth and focus on working capital management has enabled us to generate strong and steady cash flows. This has been used to deleverage the balance sheet and create a strong platform for acquisitions, as and when the opportunity should arise.”

The company is promoted by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, which holds 66.99% directly or indirectly. Fairfax Financial Holdings was founded in 1985 by ace investor Prem Watsa, and is based in Toronto.

Thomas Cook India was set up in 1881, nine years after Thomas Cook, the British travel agent credited with inventing the package tours concept, created the Thomas Cook & Sons partnership in England.

The Indian unit of the worldwide travel services company was sold to Fairfax Group in 2012.

Today, Thomas Cook India Group has operations in 24 countries, a team of over 7,590 and a combined revenue in excess of Rs. 11,411.6 Cr. (over $ 1.75 Bn).

Among its brands are SOTC, TCI, SITA, Asian Trails, Allied T Pro, Australian Tours Management, Desert Adventures, Travel Circle International Limited, Private Safaris East & South Africa.