Eurostar secures €290m bailout after collapse in demand

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Eurostar Secures €290M Bailout After Collapse In Demand Eurostar Secures €290M Bailout After Collapse In Demand
A Eurostar train, © PA Wire/PA Images
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Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Eurostar has secured a £250 million (€290 million) rescue package after warning it was “fighting for its survival” due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The cross-Channel rail operator said it has reached a financing agreement with its shareholders and banks.

This includes French state rail company SNCF, which is the company’s majority shareholder.

The UK sold its Eurostar stake to private companies for £757 million (€880 million) in 2015, and the UK government resisted pressure to contribute to the bailout.

Eurostar said in November it was ‘fighting for its survival’ (Victoria Jones/PA)

UK transport secretary Grant Shapps told MPs in February the government was “very keen for Eurostar to survive” but insisted “it’s not our company” and its difficulties were “the shareholders’ problem to resolve”.

Following the announcement of the rescue deal, 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.

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“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.”

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