A consortium of banks led by Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo has taken over a UK ferry operator after it failed to agree refinancing terms with a team of pension funds advised by Access Capital Advisers and Macquarie, the operator’s owners.
“The refinancing arrangement provides a long-term commitment from the new owners. A new corporate structure will subsequently be put in place that will simplify the current multi-level structure of the organisation,” the bank consortium said in a statement.
Isle of Man Ferries:
The new owners also said that they do not have plans to sell the asset as a consequence of the repossession.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company – the only operator of passenger, vehicle and freight services to the Isle of Man off the coast of Northwest England – was acquired by a consortium led by Macquarie and several Australian pensions in October 2005 for £225 million. The seller was Montagu Private Equity, a European mid-market private equity firm.
Macquarie held the ferry company on its balance sheet for sale and subsequently divested the vast majority of its stake in the business in December 2006 to the other consortium members, retaining a 10 percent holding.
Macquarie did not wish to comment on the refinancing. Access Capital Advisers could not be reached for comment at press time.