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Brittany Ferries Buys Condor Ferries


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Jonno - I think you have a short memory.  Condor Express and Condor Vitesse both ran two round trips per day. Express ran from Weymouth to CI to Poole to CI to Weymouth, leaving Weymouth at 0730

Slightly economical with the truth there, Mr Luxon.  Of course she has no problems maintaining the schedule she has now ended up with, because Condor has reduced its demands on Liberation to one rotat

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On 23/06/2019 at 12:11, jonno said:

Gareth, yeah maybe I do but Vitesse only stopped at Guernsey on her way to St Malo and back which including turnarounds cuts around 4 hours off the journey plus she was only ever filled to two thirds capacity. I do remember that due to her peak season Poole inclusion on her timetable Express was always the one which suffered "technical difficulties" too. How many times was cover needed? That kind of timetable isn't healthy for a 40kt aluminium ferry, they'll age very quickly in the same way short haul rotations rather than air miles age aircraft.

I don't see Liberation's handling characteristics as another argument, she's fit for purpose or she isn't. For me she isn't and never has been. Yes she's sleek, fast and shiny but so too are Polaris missiles and I wouldn't want to be strapped to one of those... there's a reason why she was ignored for five years, not even the companies whose sole business is island hopping fast craft were interested and for me she's the reason for all the negativity surrounding Condor. Oh and the price... fifty million?? Austel had a big party that day.

For a new owner it's simple, replace Liberation with a quality Incat and continue the service they already have and then replace both the Clipper & Goodwill with a couple of 130m long conventional RoPax. Comfort, quality, consistency & reliability is all that's required.

I really hope Libby isn't replaced with a conventional ferry, that's a bit like replacing an inter city train with coach and I have a feeling those living in the Channel Islands will be a tad annoyed.

Tony, Portsmouth to Cherbourg is a short crossing of around 70 nautical miles, it's not much further than Poole.

If BF is that new owner - would they then have the cash or interest to go ahead with new builds? They've so far been reliant on Stena for new ships and the Bretagne replacement new build is still unconfirmed.

I can see the attraction to BF, it blocks a new entrant to the region, allows for greater economies of scale and potentially a greater diversification away from the UK - France links, but I can't help but feel like it's a stretch.

Perhaps longer term BF are imagining a single Poole - Cherbourg - CI service, keeping both routes open at a more favourable cost.

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I mentioned something about that late last week when the news broke. If you look at Manche Iles Express, the council in La Manche department owns the vessels and leases them to the operator for the term of the contract as the ships were built specifically for the ports and conditions in which they are required to operate. I can see The States of Jersey and Guernsey going down the same route as it's potentially a 30-year investment plan and means that if BF pull out the vessels stay and can be used by another operator. Whether they own them outright or share the ownership and costs with a French department or UK financial partner, who knows. Ed. 

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Newbuilds dedicated to the CIs are what are needed and I am confident will eventually be built. The Channel Islands are a very prosperous community with a combined population of 170,000 prople with a large demand for imported goods. This is also a near monopoly. 

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Quoting the ITV news story

“Speaking last year, when the prospect of a sale emerged, the CEO of Condor Ferries, Paul Luxon, said a sale would have no effect on the operation of the ferry service”

Does that mean all will stay the same then, regardless...

 

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When the sale was first mentioned during March 2018 I found this a little ominous...

There was a quote made by Guernsey's economic development president, he said:

"if no buyer where found it would be up to the States to ensure that the ferry company continues to come to Guernsey."

 

 

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20 minutes ago, jonno said:

When the sale was first mentioned during March 2018 I found this a little ominous...

There was a quote made by Guernsey's economic development president, he said:

"if no buyer where found it would be up to the States to ensure that the ferry company continues to come to Guernsey."

 

 

I still think this is a deal cooked up by the States government to ensure continuity of service and BF will supply the know how..As for BF moving to head off possible competition.....who exactly???..there is no serious competitor to them..if there was, their hand would have been played long ago..that's how business works. The states need a more reliable service to stem the discontent of the Islanders and this BF deal is about as good as it gets

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12 hours ago, Nick Hyde said:

ITV Channel TV reported tonight it will now be tomorrow when they make an announcement. It was the top news story and the reporter seemed to think a deal was very close.

: « Comme nous ne sommes qu'au début de l'histoire, la direction de Brittany Ferries ne fera pas de commentaire » .

The article in Mer et Marine this morning has a slightly different interpretation of the situation - As negotiations are in their early stages Brittany Ferries management will be making no comment -

As dear old HT used to say, we'll just have to wait and see!

Chris

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As a competition lawyer, the two are generally operating in different markets (UK to France vs UK/France to CIs) and are not currently competitors, and with only limited potential to act as competitors to each other with current fleets; there's also space at ports for competitors to enter if they wanted to.  Yes, there will be merger control filings (probably to the UK, French, Jersey and Guernsey competition authorities, depending mainly on turnover and/or share of supply), but (based on a quick thought) I'd have thought that it would be cleared.

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Interestingly Guernsey Press in both their print and online editions this morning have still to report anything! Bailiwick Express newspaper and ITV Channel TV have but not them. They must be watching for the full facts to emerge first.

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15 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Exactly, if another company buys Condor, they could push their way in to Portsmouth or Poole, maybe in an attempt to drive BF out. Unlikely, but you never know.

I'd have thought most unlikely unless they happen to bring a small armada of vessels. LD/DFDS didn't fare that well - both of which were sizeable organisations.

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19 hours ago, Khaines said:

I think that is meant to be £300 MILLION...😉.  What has happened to Hawser btw, I thought he’d be licking his chops at this story...

Nah - £300 is a good deal. £75 for Clipper and Goodwill each. £100 for Libby. And £50 for the terminal and express. Sounds about right. Perhaps a little high for the Poole terminal actually... they may need to haggle.

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16 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Exactly, if another company buys Condor, they could push their way in to Portsmouth or Poole, maybe in an attempt to drive BF out. Unlikely, but you never know.

I doubt BF are worried about being driven out, but it's just unwanted competition isn't it. Condor has been buzzing rather unsuccessfully around a few of BF's ports and they probably want to mop them up. I would be surprised if BF could afford £300m though, with all their new ship expenditure? Also I can imagine the (proper) upkeep of the fast craft, especially Libby, would be rather costly. I seriously doubt whether they would run them year round?!

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