Guernsey Press

Condor sold to consortium including Brittany Ferries

Condor Ferries has been sold.

Picture By Peter Frankland. 07-08-19 Generic pic of Condor Liberation manoeuvring in St Peter Port Harbour.. (26352665)

Its current shareholder, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, has struck a deal to sell its 100% interest to a consortium of Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the majority shareholder, and Brittany Ferries.

'The new shareholders wholeheartedly share our vision and strategy for maintaining and developing essential Channel Islands’ lifeline ferry services across the freight supply chain, islander travel and tourism sectors,' said Condor's CEO Paul Luxon.

'Having met with senior executives of CTI and BF on several occasions, the company welcomes such experience and expertise from the new shareholders, and having introduced them to key stakeholders including politicians and senior civil servants, discussions on fleet replacement and future investment will continue.

Condor CEO Paul Luxon.

'Condor Ferries’ management and staff will continue to deliver the five year business plan that is underway and focus on providing efficient and effective sea connectivity to support the Channel Islands’ economies.’

The deal is expected to be executed following scrutiny by relevant regulatory authorities. Brittany Ferries will hold a minority stake.

Brittany Ferries began operations in 1973. Today its fleet includes twelve ships connecting France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain. It operates from three ports in the UK, Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth and carries around 2.5 million passengers every year, as well as 210,000 freight units.

Heiko Schupp, Global Head of Infrastructure Investments at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said: 'This acquisition is exciting news for us as it marks the first investment for the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund. We believe the fund’s evergreen structure and flexible approach to capital investments is best-suited for investing into long-term and stable infrastructure assets such as Condor Ferries. We are delighted to have partnered with Brittany Ferries on the acquisition 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: '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.'

Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu (26353692)

MEIF2 acquired Condor Ferries in 2008.

It actively supported the company as it invested to upgrade and modernise its fleet, with Condor Rapide entering service in 2010 followed by the Condor Liberation in 2015.

Leigh Harrison, Head of MIRA EMEA, said: 'Condor Ferries is an integral part of Channel Island life – underpinning the development of communities, economies, and tourism in the region. We are proud to have been its custodian over the past eleven years, supporting Condor Ferries as it has invested to modernise its fleet and enhance its customer offering. We are delighted to have found new owners to oversee the next chapter of its history.'

Economic Development president Charles Parkinson said: 'The sale of Condor Ferries to the consortium of Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Brittany Ferries is extremely positive news for Guernsey and the Channel Islands.'

Economic Development president Charles Parkinson.

He said there was reason to have great confidence in the long-term security and development of our ferry services.

'Having had the opportunity to meet with the new investors I am also confident in their commitment to help Condor deliver ongoing improvements to the resilience, reliability and affordability of our passenger and freight services, something an operator the size of Brittany Ferries is well equipped to help do even in the short-term. Once competition approvals for the transaction have been granted, we look forward to working with Condor Ferries and their new shareholders to help ensure a successful and secure future for this vital lifeline service to Guernsey.'

Commodore Clipper in Portsmouth. Pic by Nick Mann. (26353761)
Condor Rapide leaving St Peter Port. Pic by Tony Rive (26353758)
Condor Liberation manoeuvring in St Peter Port Harbour. (26352665)
Commodore Goodwill at Corbiere, Jersey. Pic by David Ferguson. (26353772)