JUNE 12, 2012 — The Paris Commercial Court yesterday accepted an made by Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel for French cross=Channel ferry operator SeaFrance group. The court placed SeaFrance in liquidation on January 9 2012 after various proposals to save the operation with the help of subsidies were deemed illegal. SeaFrance has not operated any services since November 2011.
Groupe Eurotunnel offered €65 million to acquire three of the four ships operated by SeaFrance, The Berlioz, The Rodin and The Nord-Pas-de-Calais, along with their related assets.
The acquisition will be made via a financial vehicle owned by the group and named Eurotransmanche. It will lease the ferries to an operating company. This company, independent of Eurotunnel, will be able to create 500 jobs in the Calais region and about a hundred in the U.K.
Eurotunnel says the ferries will need a technical overhaul before being brought into commercial service, as SeaFrance was unable to complete necessary maintenance work before being placed into administration.
Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel, stated:
"I am delighted that the pragmatic approach taken by Eurotunnel has convinced the Commercial Court. This will aid economic development and will further support the transport of people and goods between the continent and Great Britain".