New hope for Eurostar with funding deal in sight

NEW reports are claiming that Eurostar’s lenders have agreed a deal to continue loans said to be worth at least £400 million beyond their original repayment dates this summer.

Eurostar has been struggling against the impact of Covid-related restrictions on international travel, and its service has been cut back to just one return journey a day from London to Paris, and a second from London to Brussels and Amsterdam.

The British government, which sold its 40 per cent share in Eurostar in 2015, has so far declined to help with any bailout. One UK official was reported to have said ‘there is no appetite’ for any contribution from the UK Treasury.

But several banks, including NatWest, are now reported to have yielded by modifying the terms of their loans, while it is also understood that Eurostar shareholders, who are led by the French state railway SNCF, are prepared to do some ‘heavy lifting’ by providing further support to keep Eurostar on the rails.

Meanwhile, Eurostar will also be hoping for some good news on 17 May, when international travel restrictions are next due to be reviewed.

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