You are here
Home > Uncategorized > New financial rescue deal saves Eurostar

New financial rescue deal saves Eurostar

EUROSTAR has reached agreement with its shareholders and banks, lifting the threat which had been hanging over the operator as a result of the Covid pandemic and resulting travel restrictions.

The deal is worth £250 million, and it consists mainly of additional equity and loans from a syndicate of banks backed by guarantees from its shareholders. The largest stake is held by the French state railway SNCF, which owns 55 per cent.

The others are Patina Rail LLP, which is backed by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and funds managed by Federated Hermes, and a 5 per cent stake held by SNCB, the Belgian state train operator.

There had been fears that Eurostar would be forced into liquidation as its timetables dwindled to a single train each way between London and Paris, and London, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Eurostar chief executive Jacques Damas said: ‘Everyone at Eurostar is encouraged by this strong show of support from our shareholders and banks which will allow us to continue to provide this important service for passengers. The refinancing agreement is the key factor enabling us to increase our services as the situation with the pandemic starts to improve. Eurostar will continue to work closely with governments to move towards a safe easing of travel restrictions and streamlining of border processes to allow passengers to travel safely and seamlessly. Their co-ordinated actions and decisions are crucial to the restoring of demand and the financial recovery of our business.’

Eurostar is now looking ahead to a gradual increase of services over the months to come.

It said the number of trains on its London-Paris route will rise to two daily return services from 27 May, and three each day from the end of June. More improvements are set to follow as travel restrictions are eased.

The company will also be seeking to complete its merger with continental high speed operator Thalys, as part of the Green Speed project3.

Leave a Reply