Australian bank Macquarie has been instructed to sell the multi-million pound company on behalf of Infracapital, Prudential’s infrastructure fund. The bank has previous experience of such deals having sold competitor Wightlink Ferries to Balfour Beatty in 2015.
Prudential bought the Red Funnel group from HBOS bank and the ferry operator’s management team in 2007 for around £200million. Now, just 10 years later, the company is expected to sell for more than £250million.
Red Funnel was sold by AB Ports to JP Morgan in 2000 for just £71million and then 4 years later it changed hands again for £100million.
The company, which dates back as far as 1861, operates a vehicle ferry service between East Cowes and Southampton plus the hi-speed Red Jet service from West Cowes. 6 vessels are operated by Red Funnel – 3 ro-ro vehicle ferries and 3 hi-speed catamarans.
The Prudential Group is a major global financial services group with more than £250billion of funds under management and is a long-term investor in the infrastructure sector.
UPDATE @ 09:31 – Kevin George, Red Funnel CEO has this morning (Sunday) said:
“Infracapital has been a supportive owner of Red Funnel for nine years, during which time there has been significant investment and improvement 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.”