TCREUR_Public/120105.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                           E U R O P E

           Thursday, January 5, 2012, Vol. 13, No. 4



HSH NORDBANK: Six Former Execs Charged with Accounting Crimes
* GERMANY: To Speed Up Payments Into Future Bailout Fund


* GREECE: May Have to Exit Euro Zone if Bailout Fails


* IRELAND: Corporate Insolvencies Up 7% in 2011


* ITALY: Subsidy Cuts May Prompt 100 Newspaper Closures


* SWITZERLAND: Business Bankruptcies Up 3% in 2011, D&B Says

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BARRATTS AND PRICELESS: Still in Trading Despite Administration
BLACKS LEISURE: JD Sports Mulls Takeover Offer
CUMBRIAN SEAFOODS: Workers Face Redundancy After Buyout
DARLINGTON FC: DFCRG Seeks to Save Club From Administration
HMV GROUP: Pacific Global Expresses Interest in Live Music Unit

LA SENZA: Offers Discounts of Up to 70% Online
NORTHERN ROCK: Virgin Money Completes Acquisition
PAST TIMES: In the Brink of Administration, 1,000 Jobs at Risk
YELL GROUP: Appoints Matt Anderson as Chief Strategy Officer
* UK: 24 UK Tour Operators Went Into Administration in 2011


* Upcoming Meetings, Conferences and Seminars



HSH NORDBANK: Six Former Execs Charged with Accounting Crimes
Elizabeth Amon at Bloomberg News reports that six former HSH
Nordbank AG executives were charged with breach of trust and
accounting crimes over their role in collateralized-debt
obligations that led to writedowns of EUR500 million
(US$647 million) in 2008.

Prosecutors have been investigating the so-called Omega 55
transaction since 2009, Bloomberg relates.  According to
Bloomberg, Hamburg prosecutors' spokesman Peter Bunners said in
an interview on Monday that among the six now charged are former
Chief Executive Officers Dirk Jens Nonnenmacher and Hans Berger
and ex-management board members Bernhard Visker and Jochen

"We will release more details of the allegations later this week
once we have confirmation that all accused have received the
indictment," Bloomberg quotes Mr. Bunners as saying.

Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, which control more than 80% of
HSH Nordbank, were forced to bail out the lender in 2009,
Bloomberg recounts.  The states provided the bank, based in
Hamburg and Kiel, with EUR3 billion in capital and EUR10 billion
in guarantees to cover potential losses, Bloomberg discloses.
The lender also tapped the federal government's Soffin bank-
rescue fund for EUR17 billion in guarantees, Bloomberg notes.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Sept. 23,
2011, The Financial Times related that competition authorities in
the EU have reached a settlement with HSH Nordbank, one of the
world's largest providers of shipping finance, ending state aid
proceedings in return for tough limits on the size of the German
bank's balance sheet and a financial penalty.

HSH Nordbank -- is a commercial
bank in northern Europe with headquarters in Hamburg as well as
Kiel, Germany.  It is active in corporate and private banking.
HSH's main focus is on shipping, transportation, real estate and
renewable energy.

                           *     *     *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Oct. 19,
2011, Moody's Investors Service changed the outlook to stable
from developing on HSH Nordbank AG's (HSH) E+ bank financial
strength rating (BFSR) -- mapping to B1 on the long-term scale --
and also affirmed the E+ BFSR. These rating announcements were in
response to the European Commission's (EC) approval of HSH's
restructuring plan, which has enhanced the clarity of HSH's
future credit profile.

* GERMANY: To Speed Up Payments Into Future Bailout Fund
Brian Parkin and Rainer Buergin at Bloomberg News report that
Germany's plan to speed up payments into Europe's future
permanent bailout fund with cash is aimed at securing the highest
ratings for its bonds.

According to Bloomberg, Norbert Barthle, the Christian Democratic
Union's budget spokesman, on Dec. 28 said that Germany may pay
EUR8.6 billion (US$11.1 billion) into the European Stability
Mechanism in 2012, twice the amount slated in the budget,
providing it can persuade other euro-region states to double
their payments.

Mr. Barthle, as cited by Bloomberg, said that German coalition
lawmakers see no scope to increase the EUR500 billion ESM, while
its lending power may be maximized by reducing costs influenced
by ratings.  Germany in July agreed to pay a quarter or about
EUR20 billion of the fund's so-called paid-in cash stock over
five years, Bloomberg recounts.

Speeding up the payments is "definitely conceivable while a
German go-it-alone will definitely not work," Bloomberg quotes
Mr. Barthle as saying.  "The aim is to secure good ratings for
the fund and win a little independence from the rating agencies."

Euro-region leaders are holding parallel talks on shaping the
euro's temporary and permanent rescue funds after the costs borne
by Spain and Italy to sell debt soared this year and prompted
calls to bring forward creation of the ESM, Bloomberg relates.


* GREECE: May Have to Exit Euro Zone if Bailout Fails
Karolina Tagaris and Ingrid Melander at Reuters report that
Greece will have to leave the euro zone if it fails to clinch a
deal on a second, EUR130 billion (GBP108 billion) bailout with
its international lenders.

"The bailout agreement needs to be signed otherwise we will be
out of the markets, out of the euro," Reuters quotes spokesman
Pantelis Kapsis as saying to Skai TV.  "The situation will be
much worse."

Greece is racing against the clock to agree with the European
Union, the International Monetary Fund, and private bondholders
on the details of the rescue plan before a major bond redemption
in March, Reuters notes.  It risks a default if there is no deal
by this date, Reuters states.

EU, IMF and European Central Bank inspectors are expected in
Athens mid-January to flesh out the new bailout plan agreed in
principle by EU leaders in October to avoid a Greek default and a
euro exit, Reuters says.

Asked if the government would have to take extra austerity
measures to make up for last year's fiscal slippages, Mr. Kapsis,
as cited by Reuters, said: "We will see.  There could be a need
for extra measures."

The talks with bankers on a debt swap deal that is a key aspect
of the rescue plan are particularly difficult, Reuters states.

The Economic Times reports that Mr. Kapsis warned on Monday
Greece is expecting "very very difficult" negotiations with its
international creditors for the release of promised new loans.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us and we need to be aware of the
circumstances as it is absolutely not certain that the danger is
over," Mr. Kapsis, as cited by the Economic Times, said.

Under the October package, the country would have loans of EUR100
billion (US$130 billion) plus EUR30 billion to be used to
recapitalize Greek banks as they take losses resulting from a
bond write-down worth another EUR100 billion, the Economic Times

The Economic Times relates that the finance ministry said it was
counting on EUR85 billion to be transferred by the end of
February, mainly for financing needs estimated by local media to
reach EUR14 billion in March.

According to Greek media, the creditors are likely to seek new
cuts in pensions and public sector jobs after the debt-stricken
country got a first EU-IMF bailout in May 2010 worth EUR110
billion in exchange for adopting very unpopular austerity
measures, the Economic Times states.

According to the Economic Times, the government spokesman said
that a separate round of negotiations between Greece and private
bank creditors on the bond write-down aimed at cutting Athens'
debt mountain would also be "very difficult".


* IRELAND: Corporate Insolvencies Up 7% in 2011
Concern over the stability of the euro currency and high
unemployment have severely affected consumer sentiment across the
domestic sector and impacted on the continued growth rate of
corporate insolvencies in Ireland, reports.

According to, new statistics released by reveal that corporate insolvencies for 2011
have totalled 1,638.  This total shows a 7% increase on the
figure of 1,525 for 2010 and over 16% increase on 2009 figures, discloses.

Corporate receivership totals for 2011 were 284, an increase of
over 26% compared to 225 in 2010, says.
Statutory appointed receivers by NAMA accounted for 37 of the
total 284 appointments, notes.

Once again, construction was the hardest hit sector accounting
for 26% of total insolvencies, according to
However, there was a slight improvement in year on year figures,
with an 11% decrease from 472 insolvencies in 2010 to 421 in
2011, states.

The Retail industry accounted for 228 of the total insolvencies
up 29% from 2010 total of 177; however, these figures only
include corporate insolvencies and do not take account of sole
traders or partnership failures, of which there are no official
statistics available, discloses.

The Hospitality sector also continued to suffer in 2011, relates.  The total number of hospitality
insolvencies reached 204 a 5% increase on the 2010 figure of 194, discloses.

The low number of examinerships continued during 2011 and
equalled the total of 16 for 2010, says.

The number of liquidations during 2011 totalled 1,338; this
includes both Creditors Voluntary Liquidations and Court
Liquidations, notes.


* ITALY: Subsidy Cuts May Prompt 100 Newspaper Closures
Guy Dinmore at The Financial Times relates that 100 titles may
face closure as Mario Monti's government of technocrats
implements stringent cuts in public subsidies for Italy's
newspaper industry.

In the age of austerity what may be the last copy of Liberazione
will hit the news stands on Saturday, the FT discloses.
According to the FT, other notable titles facing extinction
include L'Unita, the former communist party daily founded by
Antonio Gramsci in 1924; Il Manifesto, an independent leftwing
paper since 1969 and Avvenire, a popular Catholic daily.

The cuts in newspaper subsidies, from EUR170 million in total to
EUR53 million budgeted for next year, were ordered by the
previous government of Silvio Berlusconi and confirmed by
Mr. Monti's administration, which took office last month, the FT

The prime minister has made clear, however, that he does not want
to go down in history as the butcher of the newsroom, telling a
news conference on Dec. 29 that his government would preserve
some subsidies but establish "objective criteria", as yet
undefined, to allocate resources to those most meritorious.


* SWITZERLAND: Business Bankruptcies Up 3% in 2011, D&B Says
Qatar News Agency, citing a study released on Tuesday by business
research and credit studies firm Dun & Bradstreet, reports that
cases of bankruptcy declaration in Switzerland jumped 3% in 2011
compared to 2010.

According to QNA, the study said that 6536 Swiss businesses
suffered financial difficulties and declared bankruptcy.

On the other hand, the country set a record in the number of new
firms with 40,000 businesses founded in 2011, 5% more than the
year before, QNA notes.

U N I T E D   K I N G D O M

BARRATTS AND PRICELESS: Still in Trading Despite Administration
This is Plymouth reports that Barratts Priceless Group's shoe
shops remain in administration and trading -- even though the
chain is to shut all its concession business.

Administrator Deloitte said it would continue to trade the
remaining 173 stores, including the two in Plymouth, as it sought
a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern,
according to This is Plymouth.

The report notes that the administrator said it is in "active
discussions to rescue a significant part of the remaining

The report recalls that Deloitte has announced about 1,600 jobs
are to go after attempts to find a buyer for the concessions
business failed.  The report relays that nearly 200 jobs were
being lost with the closure of 18 Barratts stores in the UK and

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 12,
2011, BBC News said that Barratts Priceless Group has been placed
into administration again, placing the jobs of 3,840 people at
risk.  "Barratts and Priceless Shoes have faced a downturn in
trading as a result of the difficult economic conditions," BBC
quotes administrators Deloitte as saying.  The previous
administration of Barratts resulted in 220 of its 380 stores
being closed, BBC noted.  The firm is one of several High Street
names that have been hit hard by weak demand over the past couple
of years, BBC disclosed.

Barratts Priceless Group is a Bradford-based high street shoe
firm.  The company has 191 stores, under the Barratts and
Priceless Shoes names, in the UK.  It also operates 371
concessions in department stores around the country.

BLACKS LEISURE: JD Sports Mulls Takeover Offer
Claer Barrett at The Financial Times reports that JD Sports is
close to making an offer for parts of Blacks Leisure, putting it
head-to-head with Sports Direct, its rival, which is also trying
to mount a rescue for the troubled chain.

According to the FT, people familiar with the matter said that
the sports retailers are understood to be among four parties
preparing final offers to be submitted by today's deadline to
KPMG, which is handling the sale process.

Any deal to save Blacks Leisure is expected to be via a pre-pack
administration, whereby a company goes into a formal insolvency
process but emerges rapidly under new ownership following a
pre-arranged sale, the FT notes.

Although Blacks Leisure has failed to find a buyer for the whole
company, the four parties are understood to be interested in
acquiring the bulk of its 300 stores, which trade as Blacks and
Millets, and employing many of its 3,500 staff, the FT discloses.

However, other retailers including Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Go
Outdoors and Mountain Warehouse, which were interested only in
acquiring smaller numbers of stores, are understood to have
dropped out of the bidding process, the FT says.

JD Sports, Blacks Leisure and KPMG all declined to comment, the
FT relates.

Sports Direct is Black Leisure's largest shareholder, with 21% of
the stock in the company.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 28,
2011, the FT related that Blacks said its net debt had risen to
GBP36 million.  It made a GBP16 million pre-tax loss in the six
months to August 27, the FT noted.

Blacks Leisure is an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer.
The company operates about 300 shops under the Blacks and Millets

CUMBRIAN SEAFOODS: Workers Face Redundancy After Buyout
The Northern Echo reports that Young's Seafood Limited, the firm
that acquired Cumbrian Seafoods out of administration, said it
plans to axe up to 363 jobs at Cumbrian's flagship plant at
Foxcover Enterprise Park, in Seaham as a 90-day consultation has
begun with staff.

A further 112 jobs in Whitehaven, Cumbria, and 80 positions in
Amble, Northumberland, are also at risk as the new owners propose
to merge production between sites, according to The Northern
Echo. The report relates that closing some of the factories has
not been ruled out.

"This move does not reflect on the committed and skilled teams in
Seaham, Whitehaven and Amble, who are continuing to work hard
through this time, which is a huge credit to the whole workforce
. . . .  However, it is clear from the fact that the business
went into administration that the current business model is not
viable. . . .  We continue to be focused on fulfilling customer
contracts and talking, in detail, with the employees about
options for the future," The Northern Echo quoted Pete Ward,
Young's chief operating officer, as saying.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 7,
2011, The Northern Echo said that Cumbrian Seafood has been
acquired by a unit of Lion Capital, the owner of Young's Seafood
Limited, out of administration.  The company went into
administration on the morning of Dec. 5 and was immediately
bought in the evening, according to The Northern Echo.  The
report related that administrators confirmed that Cumbrian
Seafood's business, customer contracts and equipment were sold to
Lion Capital's subsidiary.  However, the report noted, that
Young's has since admitted it has yet to decide on the future of
the site or its sister operations in Seaham, County Durham, and
Amble, in Northumberland.  News&Star relates that the firm is
currently assessing options, which could include transferring
work away from those centers to other sites in the Young's

Seaham-based Cumbrian Seafood Limited is a seafood supplier.  The
firm employs 378 people at Seaham, while the two remaining sites
in Whitehaven, Cumbria and Amble, Northumberland employ 117 and
79 respectively.

DARLINGTON FC: DFCRG Seeks to Save Club From Administration
The Northern Echo reports that a group of local businessmen have
formed the Darlington Football Club Rescue Group (DFCRG) to try
to save Darlington Football Club from administration.

Mark Meynell, the leader of a previous consortium that tried to
buy the Quakers after George Reynolds placed the club into
administration in the 2003-4 season, has joined forces with
former Chairman Steve Weeks and former Darlington Supporters'
Trust Chairmen Doug Embleton and Pete Ashmore to form a new
organization, according to The Northern Echo.

However, the report relates DFCRG said in a statement that their
ability to deliver a workable business plan would be severely
challenged if club Chairman Caj Singh placed Darlington FC into

The report notes DFCRG said that in the absence of a wealthy
single buyer, the club may close unless a different approach can
be devised.

DFCRG hopes to recruit additional members, and said that
Darlington boss Craig Liddle was aware of the initiative and has
declared his willingness to continue in his current position if
it is successful, The Northern Echo adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Jan. 3,
2013, The Northern Echo said that Darlington Football Club is
facing a third spell of administration in nine years, reports
emerging from the club this afternoon suggest.  Sources claim the
club will be put into administration by Mr. Singh, according to
The Northern Echo.  The report related that the players will not
be paid when their monthly wages are due.  They have been told to
prepare for administration, The Northern Echo relayed.

HMV GROUP: Pacific Global Expresses Interest in Live Music Unit
Claer Barrett and Anousha Sakoui at The Financial Times report
that Pacific Global Management has emerged as the latest buyer to
express interest in acquiring Mama Group, HMV's live music

Rebranded as HMV's live division, Mama Group operates 13 UK music
venues, including London's Jazz Cafe and the Hammersmith Apollo,
and is the most profitable part of HMV's business, the FT
discloses.  The group's retail business has floundered as digital
downloads pummel sales of CDs and DVDs, the FT relates.

HMV appointed Citigroup to find a buyer for the live venues
business last month, after warning that poor trading "may cast
significant doubt" on its future, the FT recounts.

Oakley Capital, the private equity group led by entrepreneur
Peter Dubens, has also expressed interest in acquiring the
business, the FT notes.

Formal bids are not expected to be submitted until March, and
both private equity and trade buyers are likely to be interested,
including those who operate venues or have connections to the
music and entertainment industries, the FT says.

Analysts believe that the sale of the live division could net HMV
GBP40 million to GBP75 million, the FT states.

The company, which sold book chain Waterstone's last year, would
use proceeds from the sale to reduce its net debt of GBP164
million and enable a refinancing that would avoid punitive
interest rates being applied to parts of its borrowings, the FT
discloses.  HMV's Christmas trading update, scheduled for
January 9, is expected to show further sales declines, according
to the FT.

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 20,
2011, Bloomberg News related that HMV said the economic downturn
and weak trading conditions may cast "significant doubt" on its
ability to continue.  The company said its first half pretax loss
from continued operations before exceptional items widened
32% from last year to GBP36.4 million (US$56.4 million),
Bloomberg disclosed.  HMV said in a regulatory statement that the
company has GBP163.7 million of underlying net debt, up 7.9% on
in 2010, Bloomberg noted.  Like for like sales from continued
operations fell 11.6% in 2011 compared with 15.5% in 2010,
Bloomberg said.

United Kingdom-based HMV Group plc is engaged in retailing of
pre-recorded music, video, electronic games and related
entertainment products under the HMV and Fopp brands, and the
retailing of books principally under the Waterstone's brand.  The
Company operates in four segments: HMV UK & Ireland, HMV
International, HMV Live, and Waterstone's.

LA SENZA: Offers Discounts of Up to 70% Online
InternetRetailing reports that La Senza is offering discounts of
up to 70% online as it closes stores and looks to clear stocks.

On its Web site, La Senza said, "everything must go" and that
"many stores are closing," according to InternetRetailing.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Jan. 3,
2012, BC News said that La Senza is to close four shops in
Northern Ireland.  The business, which announced on December 23
that it was going into administration, is closing more than 80
shops across the UK and Ireland, according to BBC News.  The
report noted that La Senza blamed "trading conditions" and "the
overall macro environment" for its decision to go into

La Senza is a lingerie chain.  The retailer had about 2,600 staff
at 146 stores and 18 concessions across the United Kingdom.

NORTHERN ROCK: Virgin Money Completes Acquisition
Erikka Askeland at The Scotsman reports that Virgin Money
completed its acquisition of bailed-out lender Northern Rock on
Sunday, despite calls for the sale to be delayed while the
national auditor investigates whether the deal is good value for

The coalition government agreed in November to sell Northern Rock
to Virgin Money -- the banking business owned by billionaire Sir
Richard Branson's Virgin Group -- for between GBP747 million and
GBP1 billion, the Scotsman recounts.

Critics say the deal fails to recoup all the GBP1.4 billion spent
by the government to keep the bank afloat during the credit
crisis, the Scotsman discloses.  The Labour Party wanted the deal
to be put on hold while the National Audit Office investigates
the sale, the Scotsman notes.

Northern Rock, the victim of the first run on a British bank in
decades, was nationalized three years ago after nearly collapsing
during the credit crunch, the Scotsman relates.

According to the Scotsman, UK Financial Investments, which
manages the government's stake in banks including Northern Rock,
said the deal had been cleared by the Financial Services
Authority and the European Commission.

The acquisition includes 75 Northern Rock branches and one
million customers, bringing Virgin Money's total number of
customers to four million, the Scotsman says.  Northern Rock also
brings a GBP14 billion mortgage book, a GBP16 billion retail
deposit book and around 2,100 employees, the Scotsman states.

Operating some 70 branches across the UK, Northern Rock offers
residential mortgages and savings accounts, including variable
cash and fixed-rate Individual Savings Accounts (or ISAs, which
are tax-exempt savings accounts offered in the UK), as well as
bonds and traditional savings accounts.  The bank also offers
financial planning and mortgage-related insurance and life
assurance products through third-party providers.

PAST TIMES: In the Brink of Administration, 1,000 Jobs at Risk
The Independent reports that up to 1,000 jobs are at risk as Past
Times is set to be put into administration due to the economic

The board of Past Times, which is owned by Epic Private Equity,
confirmed that it intends to appoint administrators -- which, it
is believed, will be KPMG -- to the retailer which has 100 shops
across the country, according to The Independent.

The report notes that Past Times is said to have performed below
expectations in the pre-Christmas period, crucial for the gift
market, despite heavy discounting and its marketing of Downton
Abbey-themed memorabilia.

The Independent discloses that administration might not mean the
end for the Past Times brand, however.

"Some high-street retailers may look at administration in the
first quarter as a way to reorganize their business; shut
unprofitable stores while keeping some core locations open.  This
is what we could be seeing with retailers such as D2 Jeans and
maybe Past Times as well," the report quoted Neville Kahn, head
of global reorganization services at Deloittes, as saying.

Past Times is a retailer of retro-themed gifts.

YELL GROUP: Appoints Matt Anderson as Chief Strategy Officer
Mark Wembridge at The Financial Times reports that Yell Group has
stepped up its efforts to turn round the business with the
appointment of a chief strategy and business development officer.

According to the FT, the company on Tuesday appointed
Matt Anderson to the newly created post that will focus upon
bolstering the group's digital expansion.

Mr. Anderson, who will be based in Yell's Houston office, joins
from Booz & Company, the consultancy, where he worked as a
partner in the consumer media and digital division, focusing on
digital and technology trends in e-commerce, social media, mobile
and digital media, the FT discloses.

On Tuesday, Yell also announced the appointment of Libby Chambers
as an independent non-executive director and member of the
remuneration committee, the FT relates.

The management changes follow a tough 2011 for Yell, which is
struggling under a GBP2.6 billion net debt burden that was built
up through a series of acquisitions, including the EUR3.3 billion
purchase of its Spanish directories business in 2006, the FT

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 21,
2011, The FT related that Yell reached a compromise agreement
with lenders over the terms of its GBP2.6 billion net debt,
giving the group more headroom within its banking covenants and
buying it more time to implement a turnaround strategy.  The
company said it had agreed a deal with "an overwhelming majority
of lenders" to ease its banking covenants, which are based on the
ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortization, the FT disclosed.  The company is to pay about
GBP17 million in fees to the bank lenders in return for the extra
headroom on its loan covenants, the FT noted.

                        About Yell Group

Headquartered in Reading, England, Yell Group plc -- is an international directories
business operating in the classified advertising market through
printed, online, and phone media in the U.K. and the US.  Yell
also owns 100% of TPI (renamed "Yell Publicidad"), the largest
publisher of yellow and white pages in Spain, with operations in
certain countries in Latin America.  Yell's revenue for the
twelve months ended March 31, 2008, was GBP2,219 million and its
Adjusted EBITDA was GBP738.9 million.

                         *     *     *

As reported by the Troubled Company Reporter-Europe on Dec. 6,
2011, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its long-term
corporate credit rating on U.K.-based classified directories
publisher Yell Group PLC at 'CC'.  S&P said the outlook remains

* UK: 24 UK Tour Operators Went Into Administration in 2011
Business Credit Management reports that advisory firm KPMG said
that a number of UK travel companies and tour operators will
struggle to survive in 2012 unless they radically change their
business models and adapt to a fundamentally new market

The phenomenal rise of low cost carriers, online travel booking
and the challenging economic backdrop, combined with fuel and Air
Passenger Duty increases could make 2012 one of the most
challenging years yet, according to Business Credit Management.

The report notes that since the beginning of this year 24 ATOL
registered tour operators have gone into administration.
Business Credit Management relates that the number of tour
operator businesses facing 'critical distress' is estimated to
have risen by 49% in the past year.  Given that the economic
cycle in the industry typically leads to cash reserves being at
their lowest between November and January, operators find
themselves now in the most risky part of the year, Business
Credit Management discloses.

"The traditional high-volume tour operating model based on
customers pre-booking flights and accommodation packages well in
advance is in long term decline as more and more travellers opt
for self-packaging online and niche solutions.  To survive,
operators must ensure that they are flexible and in a position of
financial strength.  Operators who do not adapt their business
model to meet the demands of today's holidaymakers will face
increased risks in the next year, including takeover or business
failure. . . . There will be increased restructuring as operators
adjust their balance sheets to strengthen their position in the
face of longer term structural changes in the market and shorter
term economic pressures.  While some traditional tour operators
have introduced change and flexibility, or are in the process of
doing so, others will face financial discomfort and those with
weak balance sheets and poor forward sales will be hit hardest. .
. . The UK tour operator market especially for overseas travel is
shrinking.  After a long period of year on year increases, the
total number of overseas holidays taken by UK travellers has seen
a 20% decline between 2008 and 2010, and now stands at about 36
million per annum, a level last seen in 1999.  In the same
period, the number of package trips, which by contrast had hardly
increased over the previous 10 years, declined to 14.1 million -
comparable levels last seen in the mid-1990s," the report quoted
Richard Hathaway, KPMG's Head of Travel, Leisure and Tourism as

Business Credit Management notes that at the same time UK
travellers are amongst the most active when it comes to online

A recent global KPMG report revealed that 74% percent of
consumers in the UK are now more likely to buy flights and
vacations online*, compared to 61% in the rest of Europe, the
report adds.


* Upcoming Meetings, Conferences and Seminars

April 3-5, 2012
     TMA Spring Conference
        Grand Hyatt Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga.

Apr. 19-22, 2012
     Annual Spring Meeting
        Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center,
        National Harbor, Md.
           Contact: 1-703-739-0800;

July 14-17, 2012
     Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop
        The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Amelia Island, Fla.
           Contact: 1-703-739-0800;

Aug. 2-4, 2012
     Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop
        Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Cambridge, Md.
           Contact: 1-703-739-0800;

November 1-3, 2012
     TMA Annual Convention
        Westin Copley Place, Boston, Mass.

Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2012
     Winter Leadership Conference
        JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, Tucson, Ariz.
           Contact: 1-703-739-0800;

April 10-12, 2013
     TMA Spring Conference
        JW Marriott Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

October 3-5, 2013
     TMA Annual Convention
        Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.


Monday's edition of the TCR delivers a list of indicative prices
for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.  Prices are
obtained by TCR editors from a variety of outside sources during
the prior week we think are reliable.  Those sources may not,
however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday Bond Pricing table
is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.  Prices reported
are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices for actual
trades are probably different.  Our objective is to share
information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy or
sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR editor holds some position in the issuers'
public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Each Tuesday edition of the TCR contains a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets whose shares trade higher than US$3 per
share in public markets.  At first glance, this list may look
like the definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell
short.  Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at
historical cost net of depreciation may understate the true value
of a firm's assets.  A company may establish reserves on its
balance sheet for liabilities that may never materialize.  The
prices at which equity securities trade in public market are
determined by more than a balance sheet solvency test.

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Thursday's edition of the TCR. Submissions about insolvency-
related conferences are encouraged.  Send announcements to

Each Friday's edition of the TCR includes a review about a book
of interest to troubled company professionals.  All titles are
available at your local bookstore or through  Go to order any title today.


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Europe is a daily newsletter co-
published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Valerie U. Pascual, Marites O. Claro, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Frauline S.
Abangan and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2754.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Europe subscription rate is US$625 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription
or balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter Chapman at 240/629-3300.

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