Alstom shares plunged by a fifth at one point on Wednesday after the train maker said it would sell assets, cut jobs and consider a capital raise after a cash flow warning in October increased concerns about the company’s debt level.
The manufacturer of France’s high-speed TGV locomotives said it hoped a divestment program would raise €1 billion ($1.09 billion), while costs would be reduced through the trimming of about 1,500 positions as it looked to bolster its balance sheet. Alstom said it is targeting a reduction in its net debt of €2 billion by March 2025.
The restructuring follows last month’s news that Alstom saw a €1.15 billion ($1.2 billion) cash outflow in the first half of its fiscal year, and it expected negative free cash flow of €500 million to €750 million this year, partly as a result of boosting production to meet new orders and from delays in completing the U.K. Aventra electric train project.
Alstom’s Paris-listed shares
fell by more than a third at the time as investors worried that the cash flow crunch would compromise the servicing of Alstom’s net debt, which stood at €3.4 billion at the end of September.
Alstom shares rose off session lows on Wednesday, but a 17% decline for the session left them down 48% for the year, with traders particular concerned at the mooted prospect of new issuance to raise capital — though CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge told Bloomberg Television it was not the company’s preferred option.
“Until the ‘will they/won’t they’ question is resolved on an equity raise, share[s] can remain volatile,” Citi analyst Martin Wilkie said in a note.
The broader Paris bourse was chipper however, with the CAC 40
gaining 0.7% amid an upbeat European session following strong gains on Wall Street the day before.
London’s FTSE 100
rose 1% as resources groups were bolstered by better economic data from China and interest-rate sensitive sectors like real estate welcomed news that U.K. inflation dropped to a two-year low in October.
in Frankfurt climbed 0.7%, as Siemens Energy
shares recovered more than 6.4% after after the company secured guarantees from the German government and private banks to support order growth as it struggles with problems at its offshore wind unit.