Eurotunnel rebel told to pay libel damages

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The Independent Online

Nicolas Miguet, the rebel shareholder in Eurotunnel who is leading a campaign to oust the board at the group's shareholder meeting in April, was yesterday ordered to pay €10,000 (£6,760) in libel damages to Richard Shirrefs, the group's chief executive.

The damages award, which was accompanied by a court order demanding that M. Miguet, who is a publisher of stock market magazines, publishes the judgment in three newspapers within the next two weeks, followed a series of articles written by M. Miguet about Eurotunnel between August and October 2003.

The court held that M. Miguet published articles in his magazine Bourse-Plus that were borne out of a special "animosity" for Mr Shirrefs.

Mr Shireffs was accused by M. Miguet of having participated in a fake election of the Eurotunnel directors in May last year and of having committed multiple offences that were harmful to shareholders' interests. The court held that M. Miguet did not bring an objective element in support of his accusations.

Eurotunnnel recently reported an annual loss of £1.3bn following a "very tough year" in which it was hit by heavy competition and the consequences of the Iraq war, which has dented the tourism industry. It is currently looking for an injection of cash.