Maritime & Marine

Published: November 17, 2019 | Updated: November 17, 2019

Brittany Ferries and ESIF investment fund agree terms to acquire Condor Ferries

Condor Liberation leaving the mouth of Poole Harbour.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Condor Ferries, which operates from Poole, is set to come under new ownership.

Brittany Ferries, in consortium with the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF), has reached an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Condor Ferries from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).

Contracts have been signed and the deal is expected to be completed after scrutiny by relevant regulatory authorities.

Brittany Ferries, which also operates from Poole, will hold a minority stake.

Condor Ferries is an operator of lifeline freight and passenger ferry services.

Each year, the company carries approximately 1m passengers, 200,000 passenger vehicles, and over 900,000 freight lane meters between Guernsey, Jersey, the UK, and the Port of St. Malo in France.

Brittany Ferries began operations in 1973.

Today its fleet includes 12 ships connecting France, the UK, Ireland and Spain.

It operates from three ports in the UK, Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth and carries around 2.5m passengers every year, as well as 210,000 freight units.

ESIF is a new open-ended, evergreen fund that invests in European mid-market equity assets, managed by leading global asset management group Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

Heiko Schupp, Global Head of Infrastructure Investments at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said: “This agreement is exciting news for us as it marks the first investment for the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund.

“Its evergreen structure suits long-term, income-producing infrastructure assets such as Condor Ferries.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Brittany Ferries and look forward to working with management, employees and the Channel Islands towards the long-term security and development of Condor’s ferry services.”

Christophe Mathieu, CEO Brittany Ferries, said: ““We are delighted to be part of the consortium that has agreed to acquire Condor Ferries.

“Brittany Ferries and Condor enjoy a long history in commercial operations and a closer cooperation between the two companies will create opportunities for sharing expertise and best practice.

“We believe this is a positive step and look forward to playing our part in supporting the economies and communities of the Channel Islands into the long term.”

Jean-Marc Roué Chairman of Brittany Ferries, added: “I am proud and honoured that we have concluded a partnership with the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund.

“It allows us to reconnect with a route to the Channel Islands that Brittany Ferries operated in the past.”