Rail operator Eurostar has obtained a financial support package of nearly $353.92m (£250m) from its shareholders and banks to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The package includes $70.78m (£50m) in shareholder equity, $212.35m (£150m) of shareholder guaranteed loans, and $70.78m (£50m) in restructured existing loan facilities.
It was provided by lenders such as Export Development Canada, Barclays, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Natwest, Société Générale, and BNP Paribas.
In November 2020, Eurostar had cautioned that it was ‘fighting for survival’ after experiencing a drastic decline in demand due to the pandemic, reported BBC.
The company noted that the refinancing package will help it to fulfil its financial obligations in the near future.
It is currently operating one train a day from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord, and one daily return service between London and Brussels/Amsterdam.
Now, Eurostar will work towards the restoration of demand on its key lines between London and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
For the repayment of loans, it will also focus on sustaining cost control.
From 27 May, Eurostar will start operating two daily return services on its London-Paris route, which will eventually increase to three a day from the end of next month.
The refinancing will also help in the completion of the company’s merger with Thalys under the Green Speed project.
Eurostar chief executive Jacques Damas said: “The refinancing agreement is the key factor enabling us to increase our services as the situation with the pandemic starts to improve.
“Eurostar will continue to work closely with governments to move towards a safe easing of travel restrictions and streamlining of border processes to allow passengers to travel safely and seamlessly.”
Eurostar is owned by SNCF (55%), Belgian state train operator SNCB (5%), and Patina Rail (40%).