Updated Sep 23, 2019

Thomas Cook collapses: 150,000 travelers stranded

Thomas Cook check-in desks at London Gatwick Airport. Photo: Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images

Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel firm, confirmed in a statement early Monday that it's gone into administration, immediately ceasing trading and operations.

Why it matters: Per the Financial Times, after weekend rescue package talks between Thomas Cook and the British government, lenders and shareholders broke down, the company's collapse left 150,000 travelers stranded abroad — as the Civil Aviation Authority puts together the "biggest emergency repatriation in peacetime."

What's happening: The collapse means 21,000 employees in 16 countries are set to lose their jobs, including 9,000 people in the United Kingdom, AP reports.

  • More than 600,000 travel bookings have been canceled, per AP, which notes an estimated 1 million future vacationers will be affected by booking cancelations. However, many should get refunds under a government travel insurance plan.
  • British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said authorities had hired charter planes to fly customers back free of charge, per the BBC.

What they're saying: Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser said in the company's statement, "It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful" in negotiating a deal.

  • Schapps defended deciding against giving the 178-year-old British company a requested bail-out, telling the BBC it was a poor candidate for survival because of its substantial debts and focus on main street.

Background: Thomas Cook reported a first half-loss of 1.4 billion pounds ($1.7 billion)  earlier this year. The company blamed factors including a prolonged heatwave in 2018 and Brexit uncertainty.

  • It said Friday it needed 200 million pounds ($250 million) to avoid financial collapse, AP notes.
  • Thomas Cook's largest shareholder, the Chinese company Fosun, had planned to contribute 450 million pounds ($559) in a rescue deal, but the plan fell through, per the FT.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Hays Travel saves 2,500 jobs with Thomas Cook takeover

A closed-down brnach of Thomas Cook. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Hays Travel, a family-owned British travel company, agreed to buy all 555 retail shops of insolvent Thomas Cook.

Why it matters: This could save upwards of 2,500 jobs, with Hays saying it plans to reopen many of the shuttered shops immediately. The rest will depend on landlord negotiations.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

Vice Media acquires Refinery29

Axios visuals

Vice Media LLC has acquired Refinery29, the venture-backed digital media company focused on millennial women. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Why it matters: It's the latest media mega-merger between two venture-backed companies that are looking to consolidate for survival.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's campaign says it raised $24.6 million in Q3

Elizabeth Warren in Las Vegas for the Giffords/March for Our Lives forum. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren's campaign said on Friday that it raised $24.6 million in the third quarter of 2019, putting her just behind Bernie Sanders for this quarter's fundraising among 2020 Democrats.

Why it matters: Warren swore off "big money fundraisers" at the start of this cycle, but she's managed to rake in a massive amount of money from grassroots, small-dollar donors.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019