Eurotunnel takes legal action against investors

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The Independent Online

Eurotunnel, the Anglo-French operator of the Channel Tunnel, said last night it is taking legal action against investors whom it claims have manipulated the company's share price by disseminating false and misleading information.

The move heightens the stand-off between Eurotunnel and a group of rebel shareholders who have been agitating for the removal of the board and a financial reconstruction of the company to reduce its debt burden.

The French bourse is already examining sharp movements in the Eurotunnel share price, which has shot up by 45 per cent in the past month, and is understood to be supportive of the company's actions. The decision to instigate legal action followed a request from the bourse authorities yesterday morning for Eurotunnel to clarify its position regarding its financial results and future strategy.

In May, Eurotunnel saw off an attempt by the shareholder activist Nicolas Miguet to unseat the board at its annual general meeting. Since then, M. Miguet has been calling for an extraordinary meeting to consider a motion to get rid of the directors. Last night M Miguet said he would go to court if his request was refused.

In its statement yesterday, the French bourse also said that all those distributing information about Eurotunnel must clarify their intentions and any changes in their shareholdings.