Getlink, formerly Groupe Eurotunnel, is a European public company based in Paris, that manages and operates the Channel Tunnel between England and France, including the Eurotunnel Shuttle vehicle services, and earns revenue on other trains through the tunnel (DB Schenker freight and Eurostar passenger).
|Traded as||Euronext: GET|
CAC Next 20 Component
|Jacques Gounon (Chairman & CEO) since 14 June 2005|
|Services||Operation of Channel Tunnel infrastructure; freight rail transport; car shuttle train services|
|Total assets||€7.363 billion (end 2014)|
|Total equity||€1.758 billion (end 2014)|
|Owner||Goldman Sachs (0.155), Capital Group Companies (0.0581), RARE Infrastructure (0.0498) |
Number of employees
|3,959 (end 2014)|
The railway operation has 50.45 kilometres (31.35 mi) of double track railway in the main tunnels, plus extensive surface level terminal facilities at Folkestone in England and Calais in France; the operation is entirely self contained, with connections near the two terminals to the respective national railway networks. Signalling and electric traction supply at 25 kV AC are also under Getlink control.
Train operation consists of shuttle trains conveying cars and coaches and other trains conveying heavy goods vehicles between the two terminals. Other trains using Getlink infrastructure are operated by the respective owners. In November 2017, Groupe Eurotunnel was rebranded as Getlink.
The company was formed on 13 August 1986, with the goal of financing, building and operating a tunnel between England and France. The company awarded a contract for the construction of the tunnel to TransManche Link (TML). The tunnel cost around £9.5bn to build, about double TML's original estimate of £4.7bn.
The tunnel was financed partly from investment by shareholders and partly from £8bn of debt, and was officially opened on 6 May 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II, and President François Mitterrand. In its first year of operation, the company lost £925m because of disappointing revenue from passengers and freight, together with heavy interest charges on its £8bn of debt.
In April 2004, a dissident shareholder group led by Nicolas Miguet succeeded in taking control of the board. However, in February 2005, Jean-Louis Raymond, the Chief Executive appointed after the boardroom coup, resigned and Jacques Gounon took complete control becoming Chairman and Chief Executive.
In July 2006, shareholders voted on a deal that would have seen half the debt, by then reduced to £6.2bn, exchanged for 87% of the equity. However this plan failed, and on 2 August 2006, the company was placed into bankruptcy protection by a French court for six months.
In May 2007, a new restructuring plan was approved by shareholders, whereby Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup agreed to provide £2.8bn of long term funding, the balance of the debt being exchanged for equity, and the shareholders agreed to waive the unlimited free travel and other perks that they had enjoyed.
In June 2007, the company entered into a partnership through subsidiary Europorte 2 with the Port of Dunkirk relating to rail freight traffic; the company was to operate trains from Dunkirk to the Delta 3 logistics terminal at Dourges, and collaborate on container shipments to the United Kingdom, using the port of Dunkirk via the tunnel.
Following the restructuring, Eurotunnel was able to announce a small net profit in 2007, of €1 million, for the first time in its existence. Half year earnings for 2008 rose to €26 million (£20.6m). The net profit for 2008 was €40 million, despite the costs associated with traffic loss from September 2008 to February 2009, following a fire in the tunnel, and this allowed Eurotunnel to issue its first ever dividend of €0.04 per euro value.
The return to financial health allowed the company to announce on 28 October 2009, the anticipated voluntary redemption of some of its convertible debt. By anticipating to November 2009 the reimbursement of debt due in July 2010, it aimed to issue up to 119.4 million new ordinary shares, and thus shore up its capital while reducing its debt load.
In December 2009, the company and SNCF acquired Veolia Cargo, splitting the business between them. The company took over French operations: Veolia Cargo France, Veolia Cargo Link, and CFTA Cargo are expected to be rebranded Europorte France, Europorte Link and Europorte proximity and become part of its Europorte freight business. Socorail has not been announced as being rebranded.
In June 2010, the company acquired British railfreight company First GBRf for £31 million from FirstGroup, to be merged into its Europorte. It was rebranded GB Railfreight On 11 June 2012, a bid by the company for three Channel ferries belonging to the former operator SeaFrance (in liquidation) for lease to another operator was accepted. Eurotunnel acquired the assets of SeaFrance ferries Berlioz, Rodin and Nord Pas-de-Calais.
They were chartered to start the MyFerryLink ferry company on 20 August 2012, owned by Eurotunnel. In the year 2015, statistics estimate that over 10.5 million passengers travelled on the Eurotunnel with 2,556,585 cars, 58,387 coaches and 1,483,741 goods vehicles making use of Eurotunnel's services. In November 2017, Groupe Eurotunnel was rebranded Getlink.
Operations and services
The company operates shuttle services with Eurotunnel Class 9 locomotives.
Europorte operates freight trains in France, as well as the cross channel freight services performed by Europorte 2 before 2009. Since the part acquisition of Veolia Cargo in September 2009, it also provides rail transport services to industrial locations through Socorail.
Passenger services are operated by Eurostar, who has a practical monopoly on tunnel passenger services. Eurotunnel levies charges on Eurostar (currently £25 per passenger per return journey) and other operators for use of the tunnel.
Deutsche Bahn planned to operate passenger trains between London and Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Cologne using the tunnel; planning started around 2005, but the plans were shelved in February 2014, because of the special safety and security requirements in the tunnel.
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Routes operated||Built||Notes|
|Class 9||Electric locomotive||100||160||58||Channel Tunnel||1993||Used for vehicle shuttles|
|Class 92||Electric locomotive||87||140||16||Channel Tunnel||1993||Used by Europorte Channel for freight services|
|Class 0001||Diesel locomotive||60||100||5||Rescue locomotive||1992|
|Class 0031||Diesel locomotive||31||50||12||Shunting||1990|
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