Eurostar secures €290m rescue package, says company

Passengers board the last Eurostar train before Brexit at Gare du Nord train station in Paris on January 31, 2020. — AFP pic
Passengers board the last Eurostar train before Brexit at Gare du Nord train station in Paris on January 31, 2020. — AFP pic

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PARIS, May 18 — Eurostar, operator of the trains that run under the Channel, has secured a €290-million rescue package to keep it afloat while waiting for Covid-19 travel curbs to be lifted, the company said today.

The company, which had been on the verge of bankruptcy, said the capital injection provided by its shareholders, including French rail operator SNCF, and associated bank loans would “secure Eurostar’s future”.

Eurostar has lost nearly all its passengers to the coronavirus pandemic.

Only a single Eurostar train is currently running daily between London and Paris and London and Brussels.

Unlike national flag carriers, which have been bailed out by their governments, Eurostar, which is seen by the French as British and by the British as being French, failed to secure a state rescue package.

The London-based company had been under pressure to secure a cash injection by the start of June.

Its £250-million-(US$352 million) refinancing package is made up of £50 million in new shareholder equity, £150 million in shareholder-guaranteed loans and £50 million in restructured loans.

Eurostar said the deal would help it meet its financial commitments in the “short and medium-term”.

The company plans to start running more trains between Paris and London over the summer. — AFP

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