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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Eurotunnel wins third debt waiver
Eurotunnel train
Eurotunnel is fighting for its survival
Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel has won a third waiver period, allowing it to continue talks to restructure its debts and ensure it can keep operating.

The company has warned that unless it changes the terms of its debt repayment it would not be able to keep operating beyond the end of this year.

It hopes to hammer out a new framework agreement by the middle of May, to be voted on by shareholders on 30 June.

The new waiver period will run until 12 July, the company said.

Under the terms of its current debt agreement, Eurotunnel could be found to be in breach of the terms if it discusses a restructuring with any parties. Hence the need for the waiver.

The company said the latest waiver was key as it had managed to get the backing of all the main creditors.

Formed in 1987 to run the rail tunnel linking the UK and France, Anglo-French Eurotunnel has struggled ever since the tunnel first opened in 1994.

It was financed purely by the private sector, but revenue forecasts were never met, leading to the banks taking over the company's equity.

The main problem if faced was that passenger numbers had been overestimated, meaning it would always find it difficult to pay off the debts it ran up building the tunnel.

Last year Eurotunnel announced 900 job cuts as it sought to reduce costs.


SEE ALSO:
Eurotunnel warns over its future
12 Apr 06 |  Business
Eurotunnel hopeful over debt deal
27 Oct 05 |  Business
Eurotunnel announces 900 job cuts
20 Oct 05 |  Business
Low fares battle hits Eurotunnel
19 Oct 05 |  Business
How Eurotunnel went so wrong
13 Jun 05 |  Business


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