The Canadian company’s investment in the cross-Solent operator will be added to its open-ended global midmarket infrastructure strategy. Fiera Infrastructure has assets under management and commitments of circa $1.6 billion, including an active interest in 29 infrastructure assets – one of which is UK water company Thames Water.
The purchase – for an undisclosed sum – was finalised in May 2019 and announced earlier this month (4th June), although it has not been announced to local media.
Alina Osorio, President of Fiera Infrastructure, has said:
“We are delighted to be the new owners of the largest cross-Solent ferry operator and remain committed to investing in the business. We believe our investors will benefit from the increased diversification of our portfolio through exposure to the transportation subsector.
“We are also excited to work with the Wightlink management team to continue to deliver a best-in-class transportation service in the UK.”
Keith Greenfield, chief executive of Wightlink, has said in an internal memo:
“A new investor, Fiera Infrastructure, has joined our existing owners Basalt Infrastructure Partners as shareholders of Wightlink, with both funds owning 50 per cent each.
“Fiera are long term investors and an excellent match for Wightlink, which also has a long term horizon. For everyone working at Wightlink, it is very much business as usual.
“Fiera coming on board at this time is an endorsement of our current strategy and the changes we have made such as the successful introduction of Victoria of Wight. We will continue to focus on safety, service performance and customer experience for our Isle of Wight customers and visitors alike.
“The management team and I are very much looking forward to working with our new and existing shareholders as we plan an exciting future for Wightlink and for our customers.
Basalt will continue to have a 50% equity position in Wightlink. Basalt acquired Wightlink Ferries from Macquarie in 2015 for around £230million.