Eurotunnel facing crisis

Contributed by editor on Dec 14, 2005 - 01:02 PM


Jacques Gounon, executive chairman of Eurotunnel warned yesterday (13 December) that the channel tunnel operator could face a crisis if it did not reach an agreement over the £6.3bn debt by the end of next month, reports the Financial Times.

The cash strapped company had already announced nearly 1000 job losses and cuts to services in October 2005

Jacques Gounon told the newspaper the company would not, as had been expected, seek an extension to the waiver agreement that permits the talks to continue if no deal was in sight when it expired at the end of January.

The company would instead conclude that, if six months of negotiations had failed to achieve an agreement, another few months would be unlikely to produce a deal, Gounon told the Financial Times.

However, if a draft agreement was reached, Eurotunnel would request an extension of the waiver for the time to put the agreement into writing, Gounon added.

Around 450 jobs in the UK and 450 in France are due to be lost by June next year leaving Eurotunnel with 2,300 staff.