Eiffage rises to 18.79% of the capital of Getlink, becomes the first shareholder

Eiffage rises to 18.79% of the capital of Getlink, becomes the first shareholder

The Eiffage group announced on Wednesday that it had risen to 18.79% of the capital of Getlink, the concession company for the Channel Tunnel, making it its largest shareholder ahead of the Italian Atlantia.

Eiffage, which already owned 5.08% of Getlink shares, has concluded the purchase of an additional 13.71% for 1.194 billion euros from the British fund TCI, financed from its cash, he said in a press release.

“Eiffage supports the current strategy of Getlink”, underlined the French group.

A shareholder of the former Eurotunnel group since 2018, he says he “intends to be a long-term investor”, and “reserves the possibility of continuing his purchases depending on market conditions”.

“However, Eiffage indicates that it does not plan to file a public offer on the balance of the capital”, he underlined.

“This strengthening of position is the continuation of the interest that the Eiffage group has had since 2018 for Getlink, a very high quality asset”, reacted Thursday Jacques Gounon, the president of the concessionaire of the Channel Tunnel.

“On behalf of the Getlink group, I am happy to welcome Eiffage as a major shareholder,” he added in a separate press release, thanking TCI “for having been in line with (its) strategic objectives”.

This operation is part of Eiffage’s strategy to diversify its concessions portfolio.

“Already on the strength of numerous transport infrastructure concessions or partnership contracts, Eiffage is extending, through this acquisition, the duration of its portfolio while strengthening its stake in a key player in the decarbonisation of transport in Europe”, according to the group statement.

Eiffage, which holds numerous motorway concessions, is also the concessionaire for the Le Mans-Rennes high-speed line.

Very affected by Brexit and the pandemic, Getlink is in full recovery, at the rate of the return of passengers crossing the Channel. The company has also found a new source of income with ElecLink, an electric cable with a capacity of one gigawatt in the tunnel between France and England, connected at the end of May.

The Italian motorway and airport group Atlantia – which is targeted by a takeover bid launched by the Benetton family – has been Getlink’s largest shareholder since spring 2018, with around 16% of the capital.