Troubled online travel agency CNG is preparing a $20 million (€15.8m) refinancing package.

The company, which last month admitted that losses in 2005 had swollen to $23.3m (€18.4m), said it would be looking at using part of the funds on acquisitions in the United States.

Kenmare-based CNG Travel has endured a torrid year starting with the exit of its founder and chief executive Finbarr Power after a boardroom row and culminating in the annual loss.

But CNG yesterday said the refinancing, arranged by US investment bank Merrill Lynch, formed part of a plan to return the company to profits.

The company will retire its existing $10m (€7.9m) in debts and liabilities, while $2m (€1.58m) in working capital will be provided by Merrill Lynch. A further $8m (€6.3m) in financing will be available to fund acquisitions.

“We are delighted to have concluded this refinancing, which now allows us to focus on delivering shareholder value from Tzell Travel Group, our leading US travel company,” chief executive PJ King said in a statement.

“It is gratifying to have our strategic plan for expansion endorsed by a world-class financial institution. We look forward with cautious optimism as we turn a new page in the company’s history.”

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