Creditors give Eurotunnel restructure greenlight


Creditors give Eurotunnel restructure greenlight
Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel has had its final restructuring plan approved by creditors, with the threat of liquidation now averted.

The company said today that creditors holding 72 per cent of the debt had backed the proposals, about six per cent above the required proportion.

Eurotunnel ran up debts of £4.2 billion in the construction of the England to France rail link, with passenger numbers consistently falling below expectations.

Under the terms of the restructure, existing shareholders will retain a 13 per cent stake, before a newly formed company, Groupe Eurotunnel, bids for the remaining shares in the new year.

The plan was made possible by a £2.4 billion loan from a consortium incorporating Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.

Although the restructuring plan must also be approved by suppliers later today and bondholders next month, Eurotunnel chief executive and chairman Jacques Gounon today heralded a new dawn for the firm.

"It is now time for Eurotunnel to be reborn and become a new company," he said.

Earlier today the Channel Tunnel operator's head of communications admitted that if the plan was not approved then the firm faced administration.

"We've put the most realistic and balanced plan that can be imagined between all of the different demands of the stakeholders," John Keefe told BBC Radio Five Live.

"We gave that plan to out creditors to evaluate at the end of October, and now it's their turn, they've got to turn up and do the voting.

"That plan is the final plan, and the creditors have to vote on it. If they vote against it it's liquidation," Mr Keefe added.

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