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Today could be a crucial one for the future of Eurotunnel, although there have been so many apparently crucial deadlines that have been and gone in this saga that it’s hard to be sure. In theory, shareholders have until the close of business today to approve the debt-for-equity swap that will save the company. The scheme needs the support of more than 50 per cent of the shares and there is a pretty good chance it won’t get it. Will that mean administration for Eurotunnel, as the company threatens? Only if you believe the French government won’t cook up some last minute bail-out. We won’t get the formal result until June 4, but with luck we might get some sort of clue as to what the outcome might be.
Is private equity standing by, ready to pounce, as some suggested yesterday and today? Possibly – Goldman Sachs and Macquarie have shown a close interest in the past – but the fact that the debt for equity conversion takes place over three years makes it complicated.
At last, the FSA has ended its investigation into split capital investment trusts with some individual sanctions but not much of a bang.
We’ll also do more today on the very interesting piece from Martin Arnold and Peter Smith this morning about Apax pulling out of venture capital, where it started. This is a big moment. And we also have some terrific reporting from our correspondent in the Gulf, Simeon Kerr, on the enormous flows of money into the UK.
That said, it’s a bit hard to get excited about the story yesterday and today elsewhere that Travelodge, owned by Dubai International Capital, plans to invest £3.5bn in new hotels. This is by 2020 and smells of puffery.
Rumour of the day: Every stock in the water sector is up today on rumours of a deal, but not many details.
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