Eurotunnel’s rail infrastructure management activites :
To understand better how does the Eurotunnel group manages its development, it is necessary to differentiate its two main activities, which are the management of the rail infrastructure and the railway company itself. We are first going to focus on the company’s management of the rail infrastructure.
Let’s recall that the Eurotunnel company owns the channel tunnel and is therefore in charge of the operation of the infrastructure and of making possible for companies with a license to operate the rail freight services and transport passengers from the trail paths of this tunnel. It also generates revenues from the collection of toll taxes from third party rail companies using the tunnel. Among the main known users, we can mention for example the company Eurostar in charge of the transportation of passengers, the SNCF, EWS, Deutsche Bahn as well as the Europorte company which manages only the transportation of merchandise.
In total and since it was put in service in 1994, the Channel tunnel has enabled more than 400 million passengers to traverse the English Channel. Among those travelers we count of course the passengers of the Eurotunnel shuttles as well as the passengers from Eurostar.
Of course, Eurotunnel is also in charge of the maintenance of these infrastructures through different other businesses.
Eurotunnel railway activities:
Of course, the Eurotunnel group is also a full-fledged railway company. It offers transportation services in the Channel tunnel as well as transport services all over Europe.
Concerning the cross-channel rail transport, Eurotunnel operates both the piggyback shuttles such as shuttles carrying trucks and others transporting cars, camping cars, caravans and couches as part of its connections between the terminals of Calais in France and Folkestone in the United Kingdom. Every year, not less than 18 million tons of merchandise and 17 million passengers traverse the channel. Over the last 20 years, the company has transported more than 60 million vehicles under the channel, also achieving a reduction of CO2 emissions of more than 4 million tons. In 2009, it obtained the Carbon Trust Standard certification as a reward for its environmental and ecological policy as well as for its efforts to control and reduce its carbon footprint. But in 2012, it was the other subsidiaries of the group that received this certification after the reduction of nearly 44% of its carbon production between 2006 and 2008. This reduction is expected to increase to 55% in 2011.
Eurotunnel is also the first private operator to have obtained a European license for railway operations in 2004. Since then, it has been able to develop the company Europorte which implements all the expertise of the company. This structure should be studied since it comprises the French assets acquired by the group from Veolia Cargo which we now know under the name of Europorte France for the transportation of rail freight, Europorte Link for the transport of maritime containers, Europorte Proximity as a local operator, Socorail as a specialist in industrial railway sidings and Europorte Channel formerly known as Europorte 2, which specializes in the traction of the Channel tunnel and in ground operations. With not less than 1800 employees, Eurotunnel’s Europorte company generates a turnover of more than 100 million Euros annually.
Other activities carried out by Eurotunnel:
In addition to its two main activities concerning rail transport and the management of the infrastructure, Eurotunnel carries out many other activities that are also important to know here are the details:
First of all, we can site, the company’s railway training activities since it has set up a real internal training center, called CIFFCO for the Opal Coast International Railway Training Centre. This training center addresses to external companies of the Eurotunnel group, which is an exception since most trainings are usually provided by railway companies for their own employees. This training center is located in the old business center of the Eurotunnel French terminal site. It offers different trainings in different jobs of railway transport and offers the following certificates:
- Training of train drivers qualified RFN or for private networks.
- Training of ground agent including trained officer, chief of maneuver or recognizer.
- Train traffic officer training.
- Train guard training.
- Training in maintenance of infrastructure or rolling material.
- Training in driving of forklifts, nacelles and overhead cranes.
- Railway safety training.
Of course, this training center has the advantage of having all the educational material necessary to train for these jobs such as advanced computer equipment, a driving simulator and train tunnel evacuation simulator. Launched in 2011 and inaugurated in 2012, the CIFFCO was able to register its train conductor training in the national directory of professional certifications. Later on, in 2016, Eurotunnel and its training center launched the first MOOC railway job.
And finally let’s talk about Eurotunnel ships. In fact, during the closing of the Seafrance company in 2012, Eurotunnel bought assets of this company concerning three boats. It also acquired the Sister ship Rodin and Berlioz and the Nord Pas de Calais. This purchase was validated after the decision of the Paris court in favor of Eurotunnel against its two opponents Louis Dreyfus/DFDS seaways and Stena Line who had made an offer too. The amount of this purchase was around 65 million euros for a fleet whose value was estimated to be between 150 to 200 million euros. However, it should be noticed that Eurotunnel does not operates these boats directly because he rents them to a SCOP created by old employees of the Seafrance company called My Ferry Link. Those boats also offer trips between the ports of Calais in France and Dover in United Kingdom since 2012. In fact, in 2015, an interdiction for Eurotunnel to operate ferries between these two ports was confirmed by British courts. This decision was taken after a first interdiction issued in 2013 by British competition and markets authority.
Structure and distribution of Eurotunnel’s shareholding:
To finish this article, we now invite you to find out more about the structure of Eurotunnel’s shareholding.
Let’s first recall that Eurotunnel currently has around 220 000 shareholders around the world. The average portfolio has around 7257 shares for a total of more than 550 million shares in circulation.
A more complete study about the distribution of its shareholdings was carried out in January 2017 on the basis of the TPI 1000 shares by the nominative register of the General society of Securities services and Computershare.
We find out about the distribution of the company’s shareholding by types of shareholder with:
- 59% of custodian shareholders
- 29% of institutional investors shareholders
- 9% of individual investors shareholders
- 3% of shares held in custody
The study also shows the geographical distribution of account holders whose details are as follows:
- 36% of Eurotunnel’s shares are held in the United States
- More than 26% of its shares are held in the United Kingdom and Ireland
- We then find 18% of shares held in France
- 6% of its shares are held in France
- and 5% are held in Luxembourg
- The remaining 9% of shares are distributed in different countries of the world but mainly in Europe