MARKET REGULATOR SUPSPENDS EUROTUNNEL SHARES
Trading in Eurotunnel PLC shares have today (2 May) been temporarily suspended on the London Stock Exchange by the market regulator after the debt-laden company postponed the publication of its 2005 earnings.
The Financial Services Authority said it halted trade in the operator of the Channel Tunnel, which operates the tunnel between Folkestone and Sangatte in France, because they had failed to meet "continuing obligations."
Eurotunnel announced last month that it was delaying the publication of its 2005 earnings indefinitely, and asked creditors to extend the deadline on a restructuring plan. The earnings were due to be reported on April 12.
The company said it would not be able to meet its contractual obligations in the first half of 2007, and as a result its auditors were initiating an "alert procedure" concerning the company's stability.
Eurotunnel said it was not planning to make further announcements before a self-imposed mid-May review date, a company spokesman said.
Eurotunnel has been trying to reach an agreement with the holders of its Ã‚Â£6.2 billion in debt in order to avoid bankruptcy. The company had until March 31 to agree to a restructuring plan, but asked that it be delayed until July 12.
The Anglo-French tunnel operator said the suspension of its shares in London was not a sign of a pending announcement on financial restructuring and that it was still in talks with creditors.