Shareholders in beleaguered Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel were today deciding the fate of the company's board.

At a meeting near Paris, investors were due to vote on a plan by rebel shareholders to overthrow the current directors and replace it with an alternative management team.

The rebels claim a new strategy is needed to cut the group's £6.4 billion debt pile and create returns for shareholders.

They want more French people on the board and are urging the British and French governments to help the company.

But Eurotunnel has accused the rebel group, known as Adacte, of having "no serious programme whatsoever" for its future.

The company has warned investors that they could lose their money and the firm could fall into the hands of its banks if the rebels succeed.

It is urging shareholders to support its own plan for the group, named Project Galaxie, which involves cutting access charges to train operators in order to boost tunnel use.

"Our Galaxie project is the only comprehensive plan currently on the table," Eurotunnel said.

Wednesday April 07, 2004