Ferry firm Red Funnel up for sale for £250m

Tue, 14 Mar 2017

Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel has been put up for sale for £250 million by owner Infracapital, an infrastructure investment arm of the Prudential.

Infracapital, which bought Red Funnel about a decade ago for £200 million, has appointed Macquarie, the Australian investment bank, to handle the sale.

Red Funnel, established in 1861, operates 30,000 trips a year from Southampton to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, carrying 3.4 million passengers and 860,000 vehicles. The firm employs around 460 people.

Red Funnel this week confirmed the news, first reported by the Sunday Times.

The firm’s chief executive Kevin George said: "Infracapital has been a supportive owner of Red Funnel for nine years during which time there has been significant investment and improvements in the services we provide. It is normal for an infrastructure fund manager such as Infracapital to review its investments from time to time.

“We remain totally committed to offering safe and reliable services, value for money and great customer service now and into the future.”

Red Funnel posted £17.6 million in profit in 2015, 23 per cent up on the previous year.

In 2015 Wightlink, Red Funnel’s rival, was sold by Macquarie to Balfour Beatty’s infrastructure arm.

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