United Kingdom tour operator Thomas Cook only had liquidity until October 4, as evidenced by the insolvency documents prepared by the company to which the British newspaper ‘Financial Times’ has had access.
At the end of September, the travel giant had to face payments equivalent to 500 million pounds (456.79 million euros) to associated hotels and creditors. However, the firm only had 956,000 pounds (1.07 million euros) in cash reserves and 31 million pounds (35 million euros) in bank accounts when it announced bankruptcy.
According to the documentation, the tour operator received five offers for certain parts or all of its airline, an offer for the sale of its tour operator business to Fosun and another offer for its business in the Nordic countries. However, all of them were rejected because the board decided that they did not reflect the appropriate value and because they would not save the rest of the group.
The lack of liquidity worsened during the summer months, when payment solution providers (Cncardis, Nets, Barclays, UniCredit and American Express) decided to reduce their exposure to Thomas Cook by retaining customer payments or even canceling their services.
PWC AND EY COULD BE INVESTIGATED
On the other hand, the UK accounting regulator is considering focusing an investigation on the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook centered on two of the ‘Big Four’, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and EY, as reported by the ‘FT’.
The Financial Information Council (FRC) and the Insolvency Service are working to determine if there are grounds to investigate the bankruptcy of the tourism giant, whose accounts have reported exceptional charges that benefited the company’s results , so the investigation could focus on these two auditors who worked with the tour operator between 2008 and 2017, in the case of PwC, and from that date on the case of EY.
EY approved in the 2018 annual report that Thomas Cook could survive at least one year, however, in the provisional results of May he announced that there was «material uncertainty» related to the continuity of the company linked to a financing agreement, to the Once he revealed that he had agreed on a new financing line of 300 million pounds sterling (338.7 million euros).
The FRC can impose fines of up to £ 10 million (€ 11.29 million) on audit firms and also punish and disable independent auditors.