Eurostar gets financial lifeline – at last

Eurostar Kent service
By Linsey McNeill
18/05/2021
Home » Eurostar gets financial lifeline – at last

Eurostar has received a £250m support package from a group of banks, guaranteed by its major shareholder, the French state rail group SNCF.

The cross-Channel operator has been asking for financial support for months after seeing passenger numbers collapse 95% during the pandemic.

It is running just one service a day to Paris and Brussels, which will rise to just two a day to Paris on 27 May. Even in June, it is only planning to operate three trains a day to Paris.

Eurostar’s Chief Executive Jacques Damas said the fresh funds would allow it to increase its services when the situation with the pandemic starts to improve.

The deal includes £50m shareholder equity, £150m shareholder guaranteed loans and £50m restructured existing loan facilities.

Eurostar had been refused a financial lifeline by the UK Government, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying Eurostar was ‘not our firm to rescue’.

The UK sold its stake in the company for £750m in 2015.

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