- Title: FRANCE: REBEL SHAREHOLDERS OF EUROTUNNEL VOTE TO OUST TOP MANAGERS.
- Date: 8th April 2004
- Summary: (W8) VILLEPINTE, FRANCE (APRIL 7, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. WIDE OF MEETING ROOM WITH SHAREHOLDERS 2. EUROTUNNEL GIANT BOARD (VARIOUS) 3. NEW CHAIRMAN JACQUES MAILLOT (WITH RED SCARF) WITH SHAREHOLDER ENTERING MEETING ROOM 4. NICOLAS MIGUET, A DISSIDENT INVESTOR ARRIVING AND ENTERING MEETING ROOM 5. WIDE OF MEETING ROOM 6. SHAREHOLDERS SITTING 7. HOSTESSES HAND CARRYING BALLOT BOXES 8. EUROTUNNEL POSTER 9. GIANT SCREEN WITH EUROTUNNEL REPRESENTATIVE ANNOUNCING THE REMOVAL OF ACTUAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS/SOUND OF PEOPLE CHEERING 10. SHAREHOLDERS SITTING 11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SHAREHOLDER JOHN ROBSON SAYING "Well, I'm a teacher of business studies and management and when students tell that shareholders are stake holders, I usually suggest that shareholders have no power whatsoever unless they are a large institution and I think what I've said today is exactly the opposite what I've been teaching people. But I'm told its been a (unclear) meeting in France, I'm told it's the first time this is happening within a French S.A. (limited company). 12. SHAREHOLDERS COMING OUT OF MEETING ROOM 13. (SOUNDBITE) (French) SHAREHOLDER SERGE CARON SAYING "In concrete terms, I'm expecting clarity and clear-sightedness. I'm also waiting for information, a true information regarding the small shareholders. We hope that they will be able to straighten out the situation because with the former board of directors we would have had a bankruptcy within two years." 14. SHAREHOLDERS SITTING 15. (SOUNDBITE) (French) NEW CHAIRMAN JACQUES MAILLOT SAYING "We will put back the tunnel on the railtracks (we will straighten out the situation) only with determination and with everybody's help." 16. SHAREHOLDERS APPLAUDING 17. (SOUNDBITE) (French) CHAIRMAN JACQUES MAILLOT SAYING "It's a great victory for all the shareholders who rose up in arms and all the militants who have worked hard since the general assembly on May 15th, so its really a great victory for Eurotunnel and it is a chance and it is now up to us together with the shareholders to convert this trial and as of tomorrow we should start the negotiations with all the concerned partners and the politicians. 18. JACQUES MAILLOT WITH REPORTERS 3.35 (W8) PARIS, FRANCE (FILE) (REUTERS) 19. GV/PAN: EUROSTAR TRAIN ON RAILTRACKS 3.44 20. CU: EUROSTAR TRAIN ARRIVING AT GARE DU NORD 4.04 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 23rd April 2004 13:00
- Location: VILLEPINTE & PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA31YHRW90LZCJWLD8253G2S49R
- Story Text: Rebel shareholders of Eurotunnel voted to oust its
top managers n a historic victory for small investors that
could backfire and push the Channel Tunnel operator closer
to the brink.
Shareholders of embattled Channel Tunnel operator
Eurotunnel at a meeting near Paris on Wednesday (April 7) voted
more than 60 percent in to replace the board with an
all-French team, including the former boss of French travel
agency Nouvelles Frontieres Jacques Maillot, who has been
named as the company's new chairman.
"In concrete terms, I'm expecting clarity and
clear-sightedness. I'm also waiting for information, a true
information regarding the small shareholders. We hope that
they will be able to straighten out the situation because
with the former board of directors we would have had a
bankruptcy within two years," said Serge Caron, a
Shareholders approved the appointment of all board
members proposed but one, Philippe Villemus. Maillot has
said he would
also invite British, Italian and Belgian administrators to
join the Anglo-French firms board.
The newly elected chairman Jacques Maillot said that
they will straighten out the situation only with
determination and with everybody's help.
"It's a great victory for all the shareholders who rose
up in arms and all the militants who have worked hard since
the general assembly on May 15th, so it's really a great
victory for Eurotunnel and it is a chance and it is now up
to us together with the shareholders to convert this trial
and as of tomorrow we should start the negotiations with
all the concerned partners and the politicians," Maillot
The putsch by a group of rebel shareholders, led by
failed presidential candidate Nicolas Miguet, comes after
shareholders lost 90 percent of their investment as the
Channel Tunnel operator racked up debts and plunged into
Investors earlier voted not to renew Chairman Charles
Mackay and Chief Executive Richard Shirrefs seats on the
the way for the new team to seize control.
The Eurotunnel saga has touched a raw nerve in France,
where the state pressed ordinary citizens to back the
privately funded infrastructure project by buying shares,
meaning Eurotunnel is 65-percent-owned by small investors.
The rest is held among a diverse range of institutions.
The volatile stock hit a high of 0.63 euros before
closing at .60 euros, up 7.1 percent on the day, powered by
said was the feel-good factor of investor power.
The top priority for new management will be to rejig
Eurotunnels balance sheet ahead of major debt repayments and
the expiry of a deal that guarantees its revenues in 2006.
Eurotunnel creditors include banks BNP, Credit Agricole
and the European Investment Bank (EIB) along with MBIA, an
and investors such as hedge funds who have bought debt
often at a discount after it was issued.
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