Eurostar is to increase services on its London-Paris route after agreeing a £250 million refinancing package.
The deal was announced on May 18 and “secures Eurostar’s future as restrictions ease and travel begins to gradually resume”, according to the international rail operator.
The money is mainly to come from equity and loans from a syndicate of banks, guaranteed by Eurostar’s shareholders - French state railway SNCF (55%), Patina Rail LLP (40%), and Belgian state operator SNCB (5%).
Eurostar had previously warned that without extra international government funding its survival was at “real risk”, following a pandemic-related drop in demand that at times reached 99% (RAIL 923).
However, the operator said on May 18: “With this package of support, Eurostar will be able to continue to operate this vital link and meet its financial obligations in the short to mid-term.”
The refinancing package comprises £50m shareholder equity, £150m shareholder guaranteed loans, and £50m restructured existing loan facilities. Lenders include Export Development Canada, Barclays, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Société Générale, Natwest and BNP Paribas.
The full story will be available in RAIL 932.