Leading European RoRo ferry operator CLdN has entered into an agreement to acquire all shares in Seatruck Ferries Holding Ltd. from Clipper Group. With 8 purpose-built vessels, Seatruck Ferries is the leading RoRo operator on the Irish Sea, transporting close to 20% of the region’s seaborne cargo volumes.
CLdN CEO Florent Maes commented: “We are delighted with the agreement, which is in line with our overall strategy of expanding current trades and developing new routes. Seatruck Ferries is an excellent company with a great route network and a strong business model. Seatruck will be a valuable addition to CLdN’s comprehensive route network and particularly adds to our presence in the UK and Irish markets. We look forward to welcome our new colleagues to the CLdN team and together develop new opportunities for the wider group.”
The parties have agreed not to disclose the transaction price. The divestment of Seatruck Ferries allows Denmark-based Clipper Group to devote all financial and managerial resources to further strengthening its global dry cargo business.
Clipper Group CEO Amrit Peter Kalsi added: “Given the continued robust performance by Seatruck, we concluded that this was the right time to divest the company. Following a competitive process, we are very pleased to be handing over the baton to a strong, long-term, industrial owner as CLdN. We now look forward to focus 100% on our dry cargo core business. With a much stronger balance sheet, we are well positioned to proactively pursue market opportunities.”
CLdN’s contemplated acquisition of Seatruck Ferries is subject to regulatory approval from the Irish competition authorities, expected before year-end. After closing, the Seatruck operation will continue to run under the Seatruck Ferries brand with the existing management team lead by Alistair Eagles.
Seatruck Ferries has shown great resilience through the challenges caused by COVID19 and Brexit, where the company has consolidated its market-leading position on the Irish Sea. Operating profit improved in 2021 and earnings are expected to further improve in 2022 as the joint impacts of COVID-19, Brexit and driver shortages are expected to accelerate growth in the unaccompanied trailer sector.
CLdN was advised by Baker McKenzie. Clipper Group was advised by Moelis & Company and Gorrissen Federspiel.