LONDON: Macquarie Bank Ltd. of Australia has bought ferry service company The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company from Montagu Private Equity for 230 million pounds.
The ferry service company, established in 1830, operates ferry services between England and Ireland and the Isle of Man. It is the only means of roll-on/roll-off freight transportation and passenger ferry services to the island.
The highly diversified Macquarie Bank is into several deals and the most recent one being its attempt on the London Stock Exchange. It had earlier bought a digital media distributor unit from BBC. It described the acquisition as “business as usual”.
Macquarie’s head of European operations Jim Craig said the day-to-day operations of the ferry service company will be run by local management with its base on the Isle of Man,
The acquisition covers the company’s vessels, buildings, land holdings and other assets.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company will be the second ferry business in Macquarie’s UK fleet. It had acquired Wightlink, the Isle of Wight ferry operator, in June last at 230 million pounds. Its other assets in the U.K. include the M6 toll road and part of Bristol airport.
Montagu Private Equity had acquired Isle of Man Steam Packet Company in July 2003 for 142 million pounds from Sea Containers, a previous owner of Wightlink.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, which carried 770,591 passengers and 208,949 vehicles last year, is the island’s most important lifeline with the mainland, though there are airlines operating flights in recent times.