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Old July 13th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #101
hkskyline
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FACTBOX - French legal situation around Eurotunnel

July 13 (Reuters) - Anglo-French rail tunnel operator Eurotunnel intends to seek protection from creditors under French law after the overnight failure of last-minute debt restructuring talks.

Dubbed the French "Chapter 11" the "Law for the rescue of companies" of July 25, 2005 adapted an older law of 1985 in the case a company cannot meet its payment obligations.

Following are the main details of procedures laid down in the law:

-- The main aims of the law are to allow a company that seeks French Chapter 11 protection to continue operating, save jobs and clean up its liabilities. The legal procedure comprises parties representing creditors and employees.

-- Once the process begins, there follows an "observation period" that usually lasts up to six months.

-- The company's head continues to run the enterprise during this time but an administrator monitors the company's progress.

-- A French court can impose a recovery plan which could entail selling off businesses or changing the board.

-- If the company is still unable to meet payments or pay off its debt, a French court can force it into liquidation.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #102
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No agreement among Eurotunnel creditors as crunch nears

PARIS, July 23, 2006 (AFP) - Two days remain before a French court rules on a request from Eurotunnel for protection from creditors but there is no sign that they have agreed on measures to slash its debt of 9.0 billion euros (11.5 billion dollars).

Informal talks about Eurotunnel, the owner of the Channel Tunnel rail link between Britain and France, continue, according to a spokesman for one of the three categories of creditors.

But the prospects do not look good, after a creditors' meeting in New York Thursday broke up without agreement, one insider said.

"For the moment there is nothing," said another source. "There is nothing much very concrete coming out...But positions can get closer very quickly or move apart very quickly."

A spokesman for the chief group of creditors -- the European Investment Bank US investment funds and municipal bonds manangers, known as the "ad hoc committee" -- said that talks had taken place on the basis of a deal signed by the committee at the end of May but rejected by bondholders as damaging to their interests.

At present, said the insider, at stake is the way creditors will split some 2.0 million euros of debt convertible into shares as Eurotunnel's management proposes.

Eurotunnel was not represented at the New York meeting in line with the decision by chief executive Jacques Gounon to pull out of the talks.

"I call sincerely on the junior and subordinated (bond-holding) creditors to negotiate. It is no longer up to the company. There is no use asking me to negotiate," he said earlier this month.

"It's now up to all of the bondholders to meet up by themselves."

He then asked a French court for protection from creditors. A decision is expected Tuesday at 2:30 pm (1240 GMT).

If the court agrees Eurotunnel will be able to freeze its debts and interest payments while continuing to operate. The court would appoint one or two officials to negotiate a settlement, so that even if the current talks fail discussions could continue in a legal framework.

The talks have been effectively in progress for 15 months with the aim of preventing Eurotunnel inevitably going bankrupt in about six months when it starts having to pay off its first debts.

The company has enough money to pay salaries and suppliers during that period unless the unexpected happens.

But in the absence of a deal Gounon has set a deadline. If "at the end of September Eurotunnel cannot propose a (restructuring) plan at the shareholders' meeting, there will be a liquidation".

Liquidation could be avoided if the main creditors, namely the banks that lent Eurotunnel money to finance the Channel Tunnel project, took over the company to reimburse their debts, Gounon explained.

Despite the financial difficulties of the group, several expert sources have said that train services will continue running through the tunnels, which link southern Britain and northern France.

Eurotunnel's debts are split between three categories of creditors: senior (532 million euros), junior (5.77 million euros) and "subordinate", or bondholders (2.7755 million euros).

Debts would be reimbursed in that order.
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Old July 29th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #103
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Something you guys might find interesting from the UK CTRL site:

With the new era of high-speed rail in the UK, we are changing the way people travel. Thanks in large part to the first section of the CTRL, which has been running now for over two and half years, Eurostar has won some decisive battles against the short-haul airlines.

It now has a 71% share of the London-Paris route. The same is true of the new TGV Est line in France, which opens from Paris to Strasbourg next June. My colleague Guillaume Pepy, executive chairman of SNCF, predicts the market share on the route to reach at least 75% within the first year.

There is now a changing view on the journey time that dictates when high-speed rail becomes the mode of choice. The conventional wisdom that after three hours it makes sense to fly, is now being fully and vigorously challenged.

The point at which trains reach 50% market share against air is now actually 4 hours and 30 minutes. Put very simply, the train is taking the strain from the plane…
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Old July 29th, 2006, 08:38 PM   #104
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Wow, major bump

Testrides are underway with the TGV POS to gain permision for Germany.


There are also testrides with ICE 3m in France
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Old July 29th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #105
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Good to have an update here. So, are we still going to see a direct, high speed train between Frankfurt and Paris in June 2007?
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Old July 29th, 2006, 09:00 PM   #106
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Interesting thread

There is no high speed train on the entire line from Paris Est to Frankfurt Hbf in June cause only high speed will be used between Paris and Baudrecourt.
People seem to forget that from Baudrecourt the max speed is probably 160km.h.

4 hours is much to long but until there is no HSL between Baudrecourt and Mannheim this TGV/ICE line is rather ridiculous.

The same can be said for the Paris - Stuttgart connection , until there is no new curve near Bruhsal the time between both cities wont do this connection no good either.

What about the 2nd part of the TGV Est from Baudrecourt to Vendenheim ?
When is going to be finished ?

Another thing that catches my attention is the combination with the Rhein/Rhone project.
From Karlsruhe to Basel the DB wants to built a new line , good idea & the RFF recently decided the 1st part of the new line from Athée to Novillard but how will these two lines connect and where ?

@ momochan : in an edition of "Ville & Transports" the TGV-POS has doors from which the colours are different than on your image.
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Old July 29th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #107
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Four hours is very competitive with the plane. Would it be Paris-Frankfurt, and continue onto Stuttgart, or Paris to Frankfurt and Paris to Stutgart?
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Old July 29th, 2006, 10:43 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De Snor
@ momochan : in an edition of "Ville & Transports" the TGV-POS has doors from which the colours are different than on your image.
This is only the testtrain with the new POS power cars and a set of older non modernised TGV Reseau carriages. The Reseau set wasn't even cleaned before it came to Germany, which made a strange combination with the very clean new power cars.
I haven't seen the final livery yet.

@samsonyuen, a map of the international services from Rhealys over the TGV Est
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Old December 15th, 2006, 04:17 AM   #109
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FACTBOX - Eurotunnel debt restructuring plan

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Eurotunnel bond holders on Thursday approved a debt restructuring deal aimed at keeping the Channel Tunnel operator afloat.

Following are details of the plan.

- A new company, Groupe Eurotunnel SA (GET SA), will make an offer for Eurotunnel's shares in the first quarter of 2007.

- GET SA will take a 40-year loan of 2.840 billion pounds ($5.35 billion) with a syndicate of banks.

- The loan will be "investment grade" at a market rate resulting in interest charges compatible with estimated cash flows.

- GET SA will issue 1.275 billion pounds of hybrid bonds that can be exchanged into shares over a maximum period of three years and one month.

- Some 61.7 percent of the bonds (787 million pounds) can be bought back by Groupe Eurotunnel.

- Current Eurotunnel shareholders will own at least 13 percent of the capital of the new company.

- They can own up to 67 percent of the capital depending on the buy back of hybrid exchangeable bonds.

- Some 60 million pounds in exchangeable bonds can be sold to shareholders tendering their shares under the offer.

- The exchangeable bonds that cannot be bought back by Eurotunnel will carry an annual coupon of 3 percent, while the bonds that can be bought back will have a 6 percent coupon.

- Eurotunnel can repurchase the bonds by increasing its debt by 225 million pounds, or via a rights issue.

- The most senior creditors, down to Tier 2, will be repaid.

- Tier 3 debt holders and bond holders will get 240 million pounds in cash from the new financing and up to 1.275 billion pounds of the exchangeable bond depending on how many of these exchangeable bonds are not taken up by shareholders.

- Of the 240 million pounds of cash, 150 million is for Tier 3 debt holders and 90 million for bondholders.

- Of the hybrid bond of up to 1.275 billion pounds, 1.045 billion is for Tier 3 and 230 million for bondholders.

- GET SA will have a supervisory board of 11 members, 7 of which will be proposed by the current Eurotunnel board. GET SA will own Eurotunnel Group UK. Their total remuneration will be 750,000 euros per year at maximum .

- A special XCo company will be created as a limited liability company in Britain, representing the founding shareholders, which are those bondholders and shareholders that have subscribed to the hybrid bond.

- XCo will hold special preference shares and has the right to nominate four board members, the same people, for GET SA and Eurotunnel Group UK.

- After full conversion of the bond, the special shares will become ordinary shares.

- Eurotunnel Group UK and GET SA will make two issues of convertible bonds.

- GET SA is likely to offer one new share for every 40 units in Eurotunnel SA and Plc. The nominal value will be reduced to 0.01 euros and the share units will be taken off the London, Brussels and Paris exchanges.

- A majority of eight board members is needed for decisions on the chairman, dividend pay-out, sales and acquisitions.

- A special 5-member committee representing the founding shareholders of XCo will get monthly key performance indicators and will meet with the company chairman on a monthly basis.
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Old December 15th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #110
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As predicted the shareholder had to take a haircut on their shares in a debt for equity swap. The entire shareholder revolt against the old board was pretty much a waste of time and money. I suppose they hoped if they made a big enough fuss they french government would bail them out.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 02:42 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nephasto View Post
^When is the second part of the CTRL (tunnel all the way to st. pancras) going to be completed? I think it is supposed to be in 2007.

Do you know how much time does the fastest eurostar take from London to Paris now?

And when the 2nd part ot the CTRL is finished? I've heard it will take about 2h15min.
Everything is in this thread:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=410349
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Old January 15th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #112
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Court approves Eurotunnel debt reduction plan

PARIS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The Paris Commercial court on Monday approved a debt reduction plan for Eurotunnel , paving the way for a fresh start for the company and a share swap for battered equity investors.

"This opens a new episode for the company," court president Perette Rey said on Monday, adding legal challenges were still likely but that the company could now start implementing its restructuring plan. The court gave Eurotunnel 36 months to implement the restructuring.

A a new Groupe Eurotunnel will make a share swap offer for the current French and U.K. share units of Eurotunnel and at least 60 percent of investors have to accept the offer for it to go ahead. There are 2,546,164,213 units in total.

Before reading out the 17 judgements approving the debt restructuring deal, the court president read out 33 decisions rejecting appeals by creditors such as Franklin, Oaktree, Resurgence, the EIB or Liverpool Partners.

Judge Rey said the complaints were "admissible but ill-founded" and therefore rejected. The plaintiffs need to pay 10,000 euros to Eurotunnel for each of the 33 decisions

"I am very pleased for the company, its staff and its shareholders, this will allow for a restart," said Eurotunnel Chairman and Chief Executive Jacques Gounon, adding the company would now work on publishing its delayed 2005 results as well as those of 2006.

Late last year creditors and bondholders of the Anglo-French cross Channel tunnel operator voted in favour of a plan that will slash the debt to 2.84 billion pounds ($5.49 billion) from 6.2 billion, following many months of arduous negotiations.

TRADING TO RESUME

Gounon told a brief news conference that he expected trading in Eurotunnel's old shares to resume in the second half of February and for a share exchange swap to take place at the end of February or early March.

"The die is cast, the court has decided and the (debt restucturing) plan has been approved," Gounon said, expressing his wish that shareholders would 'massively' subscribe to the share swap.

He added he would seek money, or cost cuts, from the French and British governments to aid the company.

Referring to subsidies for the ferry companies on the one side, and special costs to Eurotunnel on the other -- such as paying for its own regulator, annual dues on the operating licence and such -- Gounon said he hoped to be able to generate 450 million in cash flow from the two states.

Eurotunnel will not pay any interest until about the second half of 2007, a legal administrator said, because the share swap and bank financing will first need to be finalised.

Eurotunnel last year applied for creditor protection in France because it risked missing debt payments in 2007. On Aug. 2 it was placed under the Safeguard Procedure, a new French legal system comparable to U.S. Chapter 11 creditor protection.

For the refinancing, Goldman Sachs , Deutsche Bank and Citigroup will provide a 2.84-billion-pound loan and underwrite a 1.275 billion convertible bond.

Creditors and bondholders will get a mix of cash and convertible bonds in exchange for their current debt paper, although at far below the nominal value. Shareholders will get warrants allowing them to subscribe to the convertible bond.

Britain and France granted a concession to operate the tunnel in return for its construction and financing, with the tunnel completed in 1993 after six years work.

But the project suffered soaring costs and its revenue projections proved overly optimistic.

Eurotunnel shares were floated on Dec. 10, 1987, at 35 francs which is about 7 euros.

They were suspended in May 2006 at 0.44 euros.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #113
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but it still seems a little bloated to me, 3200 makes it a very large company, and considering it's a single tunnel with a single purpose, I just find it odd that so many people need to be on the payrole.
It seems odd to me that so few folks are on the Chunnel's payroll.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #114
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European Union Railways

EU says rail passengers up 2.2 pct in 2005 vs 2004, freight stable
29 January 2007



BRUSSELS (AFX) - The European Commission said the total number of rail passengers travelling in the EU rose 2.2 pct to 357.5 bln in 2005, from 350.0 bln the previous year.

It added that the bloc's rail freight remained almost stable in 2005 at 392.0 bln tonnes.

Estonian passengers rose 28.0 pct to 247.0 mln from 193.0 mln, which represented the sharpest increase. Greece recorded a 10.0 pct rise to 1.9 bln, while Latvia also showed a 10.0 pct climb to 895.0 mln.

Among the fallers, Lithuania posted a 9.0 pct decrease in passengers to 280.0 mln, while Hungary also recorded a 9.0 pct fall to 10.0 bln.

The commission said that France, Germany, Italy and the UK accounted for almost 70.0 pct of the bloc's total number of passengers.

On freight, the EU executive said rail freight went up by 7.0 pct in Lithuania to 12.5 bln tonnes; Latvia showed a rise of 6.0 pct to 19.8 bln tonnes and Portugal's freight increased 6.0 pct to 2.4 bln tonnes.

Among the fallers, Luxembourg saw the sharpest decrease -- 392.0 mln tonnes, down 34.0 pct on the previous year. Freight in Ireland decreased by 24.0 pct to 303.0 mln tonnes, while Denmark lost 15.0 pct to 2.0 bln tonnes.

The EU executive added that Germany, Poland, France, Italy and the UK accounted for almost 60.0 pct of rail freight volume in the bloc.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:18 PM   #115
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I'm surprised that none of the countries that have been investing so much in new (high speed) rail, such as Spain, are in the list of rising nations. And 2.2 percent isn't much at all, looking at how much money is being spent on the system now. I wonder what the figures would be for the EU15?
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Old January 29th, 2007, 08:23 PM   #116
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edit: wrong thread
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Old January 30th, 2007, 08:56 AM   #117
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If the population of Europe is 700 million (as recently stated elsewhere here), that's 500 trips per head per annum. Actually, given that this relates to the EU only (500 million?), the figure is somewhat higher.

These figures also imply about 600 tonnes of freight per capita per annum ... or 800 for a population of 500 million. And allegedly Europe sends much less freight by rail than the US!
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Old January 31st, 2007, 03:15 AM   #118
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Quote:
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If the population of Europe is 700 million (as recently stated elsewhere here), that's 500 trips per head per annum. Actually, given that this relates to the EU only (500 million?), the figure is somewhat higher.

These figures also imply about 600 tonnes of freight per capita per annum ... or 800 for a population of 500 million. And allegedly Europe sends much less freight by rail than the US!

Hmmm yes those figures sound grossly high: to achieve that number of journeys then every man, woman and child would be making a return journey a day 5 days a week, whereas probably at least half of europeans go nowhere near a train from one month to the next.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 12:24 PM   #119
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I think there is a problem with the arithmatic.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 01:58 PM   #120
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Is this really worth opening a special thread, or this was now just one information regarding EU railways?
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