Eurotunnel finalises debt rescue

29th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 29, 2007 (AFP) - Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel said Friday it had completed its financial rescue under a deal with shareholders and banks that reduces its debt by more than half.

PARIS, June 29, 2007 (AFP) - Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel said Friday it had completed its financial rescue under a deal with shareholders and banks that reduces its debt by more than half.

"We have successfully turned a new page. Groupe Eurotunnel has now taken its place amongst other large European businesses with an expanding future," chairman Jacques Gounon said in a statement.

A restructuring agreement agreed by shareholders allowed Eurotunnel to cut its nine-billion-euro (12-billion-dollar) debt by more than half, enabling it to operate for the first time unburdened by the cost of digging the tunnel, which was financed without state aid.

The group also said it will apply for the delisting of Eurotunnel PLC shares in London following the restructuring which will see most of the company's investment units converted into shares in Groupe Eurotunnel SA.

It said it expects the delisting to be effective round July 27.

A similar request for delisting will be made in respect of Eurotunnel SA units in Brussels, the company said, without saying what will happen to its Paris listing.

Groupe Eurotunnel shares will begin trading in Paris and London on Monday.     

Small shareholders control 92 percent of the company. Initial shareholders have seen the value of their investment plummet.

Following the restructuring, creditors hold notes which could be converted into 87-percent control of the business over three years.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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