Eurostar gets 291 million euro rescue package

Eurostar has reached an agreement with shareholders and banks on a refinancing package that will safeguard the company’s future. The 250 million pound (291 million euros) package consists mainly of shareholder equity and bank loans guaranteed by shareholders SNCF, Patina Rail LLP (a consortium supported by Caisse de dépôt and placement du Québec) and funds managed by Federated Hermes and NMBS.

Due to the corona pandemic, the international rail operator had to deal with a significant drop in the number of passengers in the past year. According to Eurostar, this package of support measures ensures that the company can meet its financial obligations in the short to medium term.

Core routes Eurostar

The international operator has indicated that it will focus on the core routes between London and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and on “strict cost control to ensure the repayment of the loans” in the coming months. From May, the carrier will increase the number of trains on the route between London and Paris to two daily returns and from the end of June to three per day.

According to Eurostar, the refinancing package will safeguard the future of Eurostar as restrictions are easing and travel is gradually resuming. The refinancing will allow Eurostar to recover and complete the merger with Thalys under the Green Speed ​​project, which was postponed.

Strong show of support

Eurostar CEO Jacques Damas: “Everyone at Eurostar is delighted with this strong show of support from our shareholders and banks, which will allow us to continue our service to passengers. The refinancing agreement is essential to allow us to expand our services as the pandemic situation improves.”

“Eurostar will continue to work closely with governments to safely relax travel restrictions and streamline border processes so that passengers can travel safely and seamlessly. Their coordinated actions and decisions are critical to the recovery in demand and the financial recovery of our business.”

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Author: Marieke van Gompel

Marieke van Gompel is editor-in-chief of RailTech.com, RailFreight.com and SpoorPro.nl, online magazines for railway professionals.

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